The Literary Heroine Blog Party

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I’m participating in Kellie’s Literary Heroine Blog Party. Ooo, this’ll be so much fun! If you can, go check Kellie’s blog out. Her fashion sense is spot on and major adorable! Thanks so much for hosting this, Kellie.
The Literary Heroine Blog Party Link up:
(*To those of you who participated in earlier years, it’s fine if you reuse some of your answers over again!*)
~ The Questions ~
  1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life’s vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! Greetings and salutations! I’m a lady who loves books, reading, knitting, crafting, and living. I love to make things that are useful and lovely. I’m a faithful Catholic who loves learning more about her Faith. I enjoy being a geeky nerd, fascinated by Star Wars and history. Guaranteed, I can give you a relevant quote from a movie or book for any circumstance, delivered in a funny voice. Spiders scare the life out of me, no joke. I want to honor God in my life by doing the little things with great love, a la St. Therese
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? I think that a true heroine is willing to put other’s needs before hers. She gives with a cheerful heart and a sweet smile. She has a clear head and is smart. She should know her faults and try to overcome them, not getting too discouraged when she fails. 
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. Polly Milton from An Old-Fashioned GirlI love how Polly stays true to herself throughout the whole book. She’s modest and sweet, but has a real get’er done attitude. I want to be her. Meg March, from Little Women is another favorite heroine. She’s usually pushed aside in favor of Jo, but Meg’s sweet heart and kindness I really love and admire. Rosalind Penderwick from The Penderwick Series. Rosalind always sacrifices for her siblings and really keeps her family together. 
  4. Five of your favorite historical novels? An Old-Fashioned Girl (Louisa May Alcott), They Called Her Mrs. Doc (Janette Oke), The Golden Thread (Louis de Wohl), Anne of the Island (L.M. Montgomery), and Eight Cousins (Louisa May Alcott).
  5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? Anne Shirley and Polly Milton and Rose Campbell all tie for that spot. They all have so many great characteristics I can’t decide which I like best.
  6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? Mac from Eight Cousins and Uli von der Flue (I hope I spelled his name right) from The Golden Thread. They are such great supporting characters. Read the books to find out why. 😉
  7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there? I would start in England, take a tour of the countryside and cross my fingers for good weather. I would then go to Paris and the French countryside. Then on to Rome, Assisi, Verona, and a few other Italian cities. Then I would gladly come home and collapse and sleep for ten years. If I couldn’t go overseas, I would love to travel along Route 66 from beginning to end. Or go back to the Biltmore and the Smokey Mountains. I don’t know if that would ever happen, since I’m not the greatest of travelers and prefer to be a homebody. 
  8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? I love reading about the 1800s in any culture.
  9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of? Well, since I’m so bossy and good at telling people what to do…I meant since I’m responsible and have a good head on my shoulders, I would probably end up directing the action. I’m not a very good singer and not the best at acting, so I’ll just stay behind the scenes.
  10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? Gah, that’s a hard question. I adore Elizabeth Bennet, but I also love Anne Shirley. And then there’s Arwen, who makes me swoon with her stunning gowns. I think I’ll go with Arwen…or Eowyn…
  11. Favorite author(s)? Louis de Wohl, Janette Oke, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, among many many others. 🙂
  12. In which century were most of the books you read written? I think the 19th and 20th centuries. I read a few modern novels, but I’m super picky about what I read. Comes from being the family censor, I suppose.
  13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is… A totally unorthodox hero, but I think that Percy Jackson is an amazing hero. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to protect his friends, he has faults, knows it, and tries to overcome them. He is also really sweet and dorky. 
  14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is… George Wickham. He is so utterly awful and pretends that he isn’t, that he’s just misunderstood! That is one thing that drives me nuts when people try to say, oh, he/she’s not a villain. He/she’s just misunderstood. No. If they are bad, they are bad.
  15. Describe your ideal dwelling place. Oh, I’ve always wanted to do this. I want to live in a house that is a mix between a Southern farmhouse and an English cottage. Full of windows and light, a library full of books and cozy places to curl up and read, deep windows with cushions, a huge wrap-around porch, a porch swing, and rocking chairs, hardwood floors, a huge fireplace, and full of life, laughter, food, yarn, and children. I would want to be able to step outside into a garden full of flowers and beauty. In short, I want a place I can call home and live and die in, a place I would never ever have to leave.
  16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. Fun, modest, comfy, wooly, warm, and kind of eclectic with lots of handknits! Think skirts, blouses, berets, leggings, tunics, wool socks and slippers. Oh, and fleecy sweatpants. 😉 That’s how I dress. 
  17. Three favorite Non-fiction books? Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World by Father T. G. Morrow, Presenting Miss Jane Austen by May Lamberton Becker, and Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft. 
  18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? I would start by mixing up a batch of bread to have later with my tea, dancing and singing to Owl City while doing so. While it was rising, I would spend some time knitting on a porch swing. (This is in an ideal world, right? I have a porch swing in my imagination.) After putting the bread in the oven, and making tea, I’d spend a bit of time writing with my cup of mind-stimulation Earl Gray. After tea time, it’s time for a nap. (Remember, ideal world.)
  19. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat – in such a way as will best portray your true character. A slouchy beret style hat that I knit myself, worn on the back of my head and keeping my cold ears warm. 
  20. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? I’m glad dark chocolate is a health food. Is it? If not, please don’t shake me out of my delusions. Please. 
  21. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Well, there have been a few important things, but I’m kind of a private person, so I’ll just share a few minor things. I dyed my hair black back in October and the color still hasn’t washed out yet…(my natural hair color is a golden brown and I have very pale skin, so this is a dramatic difference.) I found what I think is going to be my career path, a birth doula or professional labor assistant. A small thing: I conquered my fear of sock knitting. And I purchased my first spinning wheel and learned how to use it! So, that’s some of what went on last year/early this year.
  22. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. Three of my favorite verses are Psalms 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”, Song of Songs 2:11 “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone.”, and Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you.” 
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burning questions!

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{picture by me}

I have a few burning questions I would love to be answered by y’all my readers. I’m super nosy like that, you know. 😉 Spill all your book secrets!!!

Question time! Leave a comment if you feel the need to answer any or all of the questions. I love comments. 🙂 I’ll try to answer the questions to give you an idea of what I’m asking you.

What is the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen? (Best as in most like the book in your mind.) 

I would say it’s a toss-up between Anne of Green Gables (the first one) and the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

What is the worst book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen? (Worst as in as far from the book as possible.)

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters. *sigh* There are no words for how much of a travesty those movies are. Can we say destroying the story much???

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation? (Doesn’t matter how close it is to the book, just how much you like it!)

The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies. Anne of Green Gables one and two. I also really like the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. 🙂

What book have you read the most? + an average number of times you think you’ve read the book.

Ummm….. Good question! Either Eight Cousins or An Old-Fashioned Girl, both by Louisa May Alcott. I’ve probably read them both about 70-75 times. That’s just a rough guess, though. Another close one is Anne of the Island, my favorite of all the Anne books.

What was the most disappointing book/book series you’ve ever read? 

Don’t cast me out, but I was seriously disappointed in the Hunger Games trilogy. Out of all of them, Catching Fire was the only one I even tolerated. I didn’t like the other ones at all.

What book/book series do you think has lived up to all the hype about it?

Was there ever any hype about Shannon Hale’s Books of Bayern? I love those books! They’re fairy tale retellings. I haven’t read the second, third, or fourth ones in a long time. I do have the first one, (got it for a trip), and it’s a retelling of the Goose Girl. That’s what it’s called, in case you’re wondering. 🙂

Favorite classic book and why?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Pride and Prejudice. Because Jane Austen is my hero.

What genre (eg. fantasy, classic, history) do you read the most?

I read everything. I tend to lean more toward history-like books, (because I’m a nerd!), fairy tales and Star Wars, (because I’m a geek!).

Best book series?

I’d say The Penderwicks books are the best series I’ve read. They are just so amazing and sweet. 🙂 I also like The Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Who is your favorite book character?

Can I have more than one? Well, since I’m the one asking the questions, I say yes! Feel free to say more than one. 🙂 I love Anne Shirley, Percy Jackson, Elizabeth Bennet, Han Solo (he counts!!), Gilbert Blythe, Meg March, Father Brown, Blanche and Rose Brier, Bear, Skye and Jane Penderwick (all the Penderwick sisters actually), and Henderson from The Boy on Cinnamon Street.

Biggest literary crush??

Gilbert Blythe, Percy Jackson, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Thornton from North and South (even though I haven’t read N&S yet…), Henderson from The Boy on Cinnamon Street, Ren from the Tiger’s Curse series. Sigh…

What is the best book you’ve ever read in the course of your whole book-reading existence?

Okay, this question is pretty much impossible to answer. It’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.

Thoughts on e-readers: love ’em, loathe ’em, consider them practically against your religion?

I’ll take option number 3, please.

Do you freak your friends out by the sheer amount of reading you do? 

Can I plead the Fifth on this one??

Can you do other things while reading?

I can read and knit at the same time. The secret is to hold the book between your toes. 😉 But it really only works on larger books….

Favorite snack while reading?

I eat lunch while reading. I love Goldfish, Cheeseits, and crackers, but I’ll eat just about anything while reading. Bad for the books, I know….

Favorite period drama? (This may not apply if you’re not it to that kind of thing.)

North and South, Pride and Prejudice, and Anne of Green Gables (one and two, avoid the third one like the plague as an adaptation. As its own movie, with no reference to the books, it is slightly tolerable.)

Seriously, if you have never watched North and South, you are missing out on something stunning. Everything about the show is wonderful. The cast, the costumes, Richard Armitage, the setting, the storyline, Richard Armitage…. Sorry, I have a bit of a one-track mind sometimes. 😉

Favorite superhero movie? Marvel or DC? (I just had to ask, even though it has nothing to do with books!)

Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Solider. Hands down, the Cap has my heart! And it’s Marvel for me. 🙂 Just because of Captain America, of course. Squee! I’m looking forward to the next Avengers movie. It looks pretty amazing.

How many books do you have and how do you store them??? 

I have a lot of books. I’d say a conservative estimate would be 350-400, possibly more. I’ve never counted. I need help with my book habit. And my sock yarn habit. But that is a different story all together…..
I really need help in the storage bit. I’m still on the lookout for a good bookshelf. 😛

 

So, leave a comment if you want to answer any or all of my questions! Thank you!

the great controversy

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Have you seen Pride and Prejudice?

I ask that question sometimes when I meet a fellow British drama fan. If the answer is yes, I’ll (cautiously) pose the following question.

Which version? {raises eyebrow, looks out of the corner of the eye} The Colin Firth one or the Matthew Macfaydon one?

Isn’t it interesting how the different versions are identified by who plays Mr. Darcy? This tells you how interesting my life must be if I argue about British movies in my spare time then write blog posts about it. 🙂 And if you must know, the correct answer is the Colin Firth version. I tried to be objective when watching the 2005 version and not compare it to the 1995 one, but, oh, it was hard. They are. just. so. different. I’ll start with the 2005 movie.

What I liked about the 2005 version:

I recognized most of the cast from other movies I’ve seen. For example:

Judy Dench as Lady Catherine (Cranford)
Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley (Penelope, Cranford)
Rosamund Pike as Jane Bennet (Wives and Daughters)
Kelly Reilly as Caroline Bingley (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows)
Claudie Blakley as Charlotte Lucas (Lark Rise to Candleford, Cranford, Bright Star)
Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins (Pirates of the Caribbean, Wives and Daughters)

Mrs. Bennet wasn’t nearly as squawkingly excitable. (THANK GOODNESS!)

Jane was lovelier. It was funny to me that Jane was called the pretty one in the BBC show, but that Elizabeth was much prettier.

I’d rather go to the balls in this one than at the other one. They seemed more fun. The whole scene when the Bennets are embarrassing themselves was almost completely cut out, which relieved me. Of all the scenes, that was my least favorite. Talk about cringe-worthy relatives!

I liked Georgiana better. She was younger and more real, even if you only saw her for all of a minute and a half.

The music was amazing! I would buy the soundtrack. The theme is distinctive and is woven nicely all throughout.

The set seemed to be more lived in, like the Bennets had lived at Longbourne for more than just an hour.

Favorite scene from the movie: when Mr. Bingley comes to Longbourne and they bolt through the room cleaning up! I love that they aren’t all prim and proper all day. This movie seemed to be more lighthearted.

What I didn’t like about the 2005 version:

Some of the characters were just off, such as:
Mr. Collins wasn’t slimy like he was supposed to be. He was just weird.
Mr. Bingley and Mr. Bennet were ridiculous, even more so than usual.
And Wickham, the villain of the story, was barely in the movie! He had three scenes at the most. I know that it was a much shorter movie and very little time was devoted to back story, but it was just silly. Little to no explanation was given why Lydia ran off with him, or why he and Darcy disliked each other so much. Disappointing.
Charlotte Lucas wasn’t played too well. Neither was Mrs. Bennet. I liked that Mrs. Bennet was quieter, but when she complained of nerves, it wasn’t as believable.

The story jumped around a bit too quickly. It was hard to tell what was going on sometimes.

The historical inaccuracy was appalling. They couldn’t seem to decide what period the clothes should be from. Bingley would NEVER have gone into Jane’s sick room. Elizabeth should have always worn a hat when going out. Caroline Bingley wouldn’t have worn a sleeveless dress at the Netherfield ball. Lady Catherine, soul of propriety, would not have appeared in the middle of the night to yell at Elizabeth. And walking around in their night-clothes being okay? No, no, no!!

Oh, Mr. Darcy… He had one good line. That’s it. It was a good line, though. Why did he keep just walking into other houses? Talk about random.

And don’t mess with Jane Austen’s words. That is a big, BIG no-no. Honestly, I think she knew what she was doing when she wrote them!

What I liked about the 1995 version:

How much of the story they were able to put into the show. It’s so detailed, rich, and does justice to Jane Austen’s wonderful novel.

The costumes and setting were accurate. No detail was missed. Seriously, I would LOVE to wear Elizabeth’s clothes. Stunning!

You’re able to see back story and character development. Like, the Bingley sisters, Mrs. Gardiner, Wickham’s past and connection to Mr. Darcy, you know, that kind of thing.

Wickham is actually a bad guy! Lydia is an air-headed girl who’s only interest is boys! Mrs. Bennet is in the fidgets all the time! Mary is snooty and silly!

Mr. Bennet is really a funny character. Watching him play opposite to screechy Mrs. Bennet is hilarious. His sense of humor is so dry and sarcastic without being sarcastic.

Lady Catherine is suitably haughty and grand. She’s so demanding. “I am most displeased!”

Mr. Collins… Ooo…he’s so slimy and gross! The other one was just weird, but he is physically repulsive.

And finally….Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth really captures the brooding, dark gorgeousness that is Mr. Darcy. Sometimes he takes the brooding just a bit far. Like when you can count on one hand how many times he smiles! He’s sharp enough to counter Elizabeth’s wit, but vulnerable enough to feel. I love when he and Elizabeth run into each other at Pemberly. Classic! There has never been and never will be a better Mr. Darcy. Unless Richard Armitage played him…

The music is so amazing and distinctive. Unfortunately, it’s unavailable for purchase. A friend found me a copy at a thrift store not that long ago. Love that album.

What I didn’t like about the 1995 version:

Mr. Darcy was right. The Bennets displayed a complete lack of propriety just about anywhere they went. It was hard to watch.

Mr. Collins. Ugh, he creeps me out. I just don’t like the character at all. And he shouldn’t have married Charlotte Lucas. Mary Bennet would have been a better match for him!

I don’t think they cast Caroline Bingley very well. She looks nothing like Mr. Bingley.

Let’s summarize!

All in all, I think that the 1995 version wins for me. Now, if they could take the best parts of both movies and put them together, it would be an amazing movie.

All right, sound off. 1995 or 2005? Colin Firth or Matthew Macfaydon? Tell me which one you prefer! Do you ever have violent arguments about British dramas? I’ll chat about them with you if you don’t have anyone else! 🙂 Comment and tell me all about it!