Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

By a Lady...




A novel.

In three volumes


By the 

Author of "Sense and Sensibility."


Facts about Pride and Prejudice

It went on sale as three, hard-backed volumes on January 28, 1813 - available for 18 shillings.

It was originally titled "First Impressions" and written as an epistolary novel. This draft was written in less than a year from 1796 to 1797 (age 20 to 21).

The author sold the manuscript to the publisher for £110.  Despite its instant success, this was all she ever made off it even though her publisher made ~£450 from the first two editions alone.

Austen's name was never associated with it during her lifetime.

The final title was most likely inspired from a line the last chapter of Cecilia by Fanny Burney - one of Austen's favorite female authors.

After being set to type, the original manuscript in Austen's hand was destroyed.

[Austen's writing desk]
Crawley Sisters forever!!

Crawley love :'l
Happy 200th Pride and Prejudice! Turns out its a gift that keeps on giving :)

And once again, thank you, Jane.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What I'm reading

Thanks to my sister for informing me of the "what i'm reading" party, sponsored by Emily of Jones Design Company.

So, what have I been reading?  Since the New Year began, I've been focusing on reading more... and I think it's working because this weekend I'm set to finish my 4th book of the year :)

I started off the year by finishing Return of the King - 2nd time through and I loved it!  But from my multiple blog posts / instagram pictures, I think you knew that ;)

After spending 6 months in Middle Earth (I read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and a bio of Tolkien last summer/fall), I wanted a quick, contemporary novel to pull me back into reading as a habit.  Little did I know how quick the book I picked was.  Last Monday night (all in one night) I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  [For those of you aren't familiar, John Green makes up half of the "Vlog Brothers" with his nerdy, artistic, michevious counterpart being Hank Green, who is, among other things, the executive producer for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  Needless to say - they're a really cool pair.]  Getting back to the novel, it was unbelievable.  Tragic and literary and raw and thought provoking and beautiful. Wow!  Being as sad and raw as it was, I wouldn't recommend this book to just anyone, but if you're interested, ask me and I will tell you more.

[I'm skipping over the third book because it was just aweful... I'm pretending it didn't happen.]
And currently, I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife - which has kind of sucked me in.  There have been some parts I've really liked, but quite a few things which bothered me. But it is definitely a novel that is easy to read.  I started 2 days ago and am now half way through - but I have a feeling I'm going to end up liking the first half a lot more than the last half :/  We shall see.

A few other books on my radar:
  • The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
  • The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse - Michael Gungor
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*
  • Culture of Hope - Turner Frederik
  • The Hours - Michael Cunningham
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
  • One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp
  • Letters from a Lost Generation - Mark Bostridge
  • Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton
  • Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
  • and some more Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
You know, just a few ;)  You can see what I've been reading or what I hope to read on my goodreads page.

what i'm reading

*re-reads :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Today starts with yesterday.  Under an unusual compulsion, I jump into the shower before bed. I blow dry my bangs back - they're too long - and let the rest of my hair dry au naturale while I sleep.

Sleep in just a bit.  Begin morning routine, slightly thrown off by the tres au naturale hair.  Decide to curl it, pinning the bangs back.  It turns out well and faster than expected.  Makeup.  I realize, with my bangs back, I can do a smoky eye...first time in months.

Hair looks good.  Makeup looks good.  What do I have that's clean and will hide the holiday weight?  What to wear?  I pick a mustard yellow, lacy skirt.  Grab black tights, shirt, grey sweater (one of five), black boots.  Not too shabby.

Samara, you could drive in.  I could.  Forget the bus, I'm driving this morning.  Turn on the car so it will melt.

Keys x2, (brand new) iPhone, purse, book.

Not too bad of a commute... praying today goes better than the last two days.  Bob's back today.  It'll be a better day.

"I Will Wait" comes on.  Theme song of the season.

Paint my spirit gold...

I'm crying at the 4th street exit.

Park the car.  Dry my eyes.

Work away work away.  Compliments on the skirt "Oh, thank you..."  Work away work away.

Work is good - it is a better day.

Lunch - no LBD. Crack open the book for the first time.  Embrace fiction.  It's different, but I barely make it back to work on time.  Then I have a hard time leaving the book-scape and focusing on work.

"At some point you have to choose between life and fiction.  The two are very close, but they never actually touch."  I hear my mom quoting.  I'd rather not choose.  Eh, date a girl who reads.

Work away work away.  Cross off to-do list.  The afternoon goes fast.

Join the parade northbound.  Random musings during "five for the drive."  Why can people accept the abstractness of music but not of narratives?  They don't sit around frustrated asking - "but what do the notes mean?"  No, it's only when you complicate things with spoken language that people expect the speaker to have things figured out, sorted, wrapped in a bow.  They're not content to pass through the language and see what sticks afterward.  "Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery."  Listen to the music.  Look at the paintings.  Read the books.  Watch the films.  Accept the mystery.

Arrive at destination = another silent soap box session over.

Massage appointment.  Car accidents stink, but I can't complain about consistent massages.  My therapist says I look "British."  For the win.

And finally... home.


Monday, January 14, 2013

By. far. the best food we had in Oxford.  This may have been due to the fact that it was apparently the only restaurant aware of the existence of garlic.  Even still - pretty fabulous food matched with an even more fantastic eclectic interior design...yah, what I'd give for just 1 casual day in Oxford.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

So...guess who was planning to start 10-on-10 this month? And guess who forgot to charge her phone the night before? Ugggh :P

So instead of a proper 10-on-10, you get some hi-lights / random moments of the week :)

[Breaking fast with this lovely lady :]

[I read a book on Monday... a whole book on Monday. One of the most delightful  parts was an ongoing debate on the "breakfastization" of eggs - particularly scrambled.  Why is it that you can put bacon on a sandwich and it gets treated with equality; but put scrambled eggs on there - it's a breakfast sandwich?  Above is a sound counter point.
Jury's still out for this reader.]

[One of the absolute hi-lights of my week :D ]

[Oscar Noms!!!!]

[Kept warm this particularly chilly week by a gorgeous scarf hand-made by best friend :]

[I have this wonderful gift gracing my cubicle]

[Friday was "Cleaning Day" at work.  Bob cleaned out his top drawer.  When I came in and saw this, he goes, "Just say it - I'm weird!" haha... well, Bob...]

["Crawley Sister" conversations re: said hi-light of the week]

[Barry Manilow on Ice - first live figure skating experience ever...and I loooved it!  My favorite skaters were this husband/wife team from Russia - incredible!! Barry was  pretty great too.  A very fun time.]

[Thanks to Christine and my Mom for a fabulous Friday evening!]

Monday, January 7, 2013

You know those books... the ones where you read just one and a half chapters on the bus on your way to work - and then try not to think about the book for the rest of the day? The novels that that look so demure-just slim bits of paper & twine-but have the power to slice into your heart? The ones that so effortlessly intertwine beautifully captured "moments of non-being" and stunning intertextuality they leave you breathless? Those ones that were so well written--you just know that "existentially fraught free throws" will change how you view the world? The novels you rush home to, deciding it's ok to take a break from normal human activities like drinking water and stuff? Ones where you fall for the main character(s) so fast and then are left sobbing in the dark but it was all so beautiful that you're grateful for the pain? And then you're reminded all over again why you love to read?

Yah...I just finished one of those books.
So happy to have had these gracing my Instagram feed this morning :)

Yesterday was Downton Day - today was Pemberley Day... fangirl heart rejoice :) :) :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Oxford to Seattle

My dear friend, Kristina, spent the last week out in Seattle.  We hadn't seen each other since leaving Oxford a year and half ago, so she decided to come out for a visit.  And since she'd never been to Seattle, I got to play tour guide for a week :)

Here's a peek at our adventures - 

[Clockwise: Greenlake on a crisp winter day, smiles at UW, a visit to Magus Books - complete with matching reads, and the Fremont Troll :]

[Kristina at Greenlake]

[sun and smiles]

[closest to Oxford we could get]

[the quad]

[Happy New Year!!]

[had to include a cute shot of my sibs as well]

[vision banquet]

[original you do]

[hipster banjo player outside of starbs... he serenaded us with "auld lang syne"]

[pike's place... obvi :]

[not so sure about the gum wall ;]

[View from the Great Wheel - very fun!]

[Clockwise: we went to London! err...  outside "Elephant & Castle" in Seattle, Seattle Public Library, breakfast at Library Bistro, Kristina on the merry-go-round]

[so grateful for this girl!!]

Hope you've had a smashing start to 2013!!  And here's to more adventures :)

"Well, I'm back."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello!  Happy New Year, again.  I feel like I've been away for a while.  Between Christmas festivities and having my dear friend Kristina visiting [post forthcoming],  I've only had time for the brief word / picture, but nothing very substantial.  Hoping that changes now that things return to their quieter routine :)

I wanted to share the results from books read last year.  After a personal best at 53 books in 2011, I thought I'd challenge myself with 60 for 2012 - ha!  Well, 2011 was very much an "on" year for reading.  My schedule was rather conducive to it, I took some great courses, breezed through 2 fantasy/sci-fi series (The Auralia Thread and The Hunger Games), was introduced to what good contemporary fiction looks like (thank you History of Love), and came across a host of other good books... mostly shorter books. 

2012 turned out entirely different.  I began the year with Clarissa.  That alone should count for something.  But I also spent time with modernist poetry.  Reading and attempting to understand the Wasteland doesn't feel like reading a whole book - but it sure takes effort, more effort for me in a lot of ways. 

But then I graduated.  And it wasn't like "Whew! I've graduated, I want a break from the books" - far from it.  Rather it was, "I've finally graduated and can get around to all of the coffee dates I've been putting off."  Throw graduation parties, catching up on sleep, and job applications on top of that and it didn't exactly translate into reading as much as I'd like.  But then in July I re-entered Middle Earth... now I'm just 30 pages from sailing away from it  [too cheesy? meh].  Could I have read the "Concerning Hobbits Tetralogy" faster?  Sure... but spending the last 6 months roaming from the Misty Mountains to Mordor has washed me.  It's clarified the way I see life.  It's made me laugh and cry countless times.  It's provided a great connection with my boss :)  It's made me feel the total nerd that I am--complete with hobbit ears. 
It's made me realize that I am a hobbit and that this life is an unexpected adventure.  As of 3 weeks ago I had finished "Mount Doom" and, yes, I've been busy, but part of me wasn't ready for it to end.  I know that tears await me at the Grey Havens.

But I feel ready now to bid the Shire goodbye, and tonight I will.  Though statistically it means I've read only 8 novels since graduating (32 total for 2012), it's been a gift.

Now I have the books of 2013 calling my name.  There's a whole stack already by my bed that I can't wait to dig into.  It's a "farewell" to Tolkien, but it's a "hello" to Green, Kraus, Niffenneger, and countless others.

2013 - I can't wait to crack your cover!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Updated so you can see the full list:

1  The Rainbow
2  Othello
3  Macbeth
4  Katherine Mansfield's Short Stories
5  Clarissa
6  King Lear
7  To the Lighthouse
8  Measure for Measure
9  Waterland
10  The Winter's Tale
11  History of Tom Jones
12  Atonement
13  The Tempest
14  Man Who was Thursday
15  A Severe Mercy
16  Sign of Four
17  Poems of TS Eliot
18  Metamorphosis
19  Trials of Socrates
20  Six Characters in Search of an Author
21  Protagoras
22  Gorgias
23  Mrs. Dalloway
24  Bald Soprano
25  Endgame 
26  Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
27  The Archivist
28  Woman in White
29  The Hobbit*
30  JRR Tokien - Biography
31  Fellowship of the Ring*
32  Two Towers*

___ read for school

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"This year is a sealed envelope;
With apprehensive hope
We brace for anything.
I swear, I understand that nothing changes that,
The past will be the past,
But the future is brighter than any flashback."