Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Sunday Salon: Remembrance Sunday

The Sunday

What Caught My Fancy This Week

Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK and I would like to take a moment to remember the brave men and women who have died or been injured for their country. No matter if you agree or disagree with the wars and conflicts that rage around the world I think we can all agree that these soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice are brave men and women.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon

Poetry has actually been on my mind all week since my seniors are studying poetry right now and this week I found several links to stories about poets. First an article about one of the Great War poets Sigfried Sassoon. And then two different articles about Keats. The first one about his death and second one about the new movie that is out titled Bright Star after one of Keats love poems and chronicles his doomed love for Fanny. It uses the movie as a springboard to discuss love poetry in general.

I have to admit that I am not really a fan of the Romantics. I mean, seriously, how many odes can one person really write? My first introduction to the Romantics actually came from one of Anne McCaffrey's books: Dragonsdawn where one of the characters quotes "Kubla Khan", Coleridge most famous work. Being able to quote poetry the way the character did impressed me greatly and I did manage to learn several poems by heart, and boy has that served me well. Although I can't recite all of "Kubla Khan" from memory I could recite portions of it and that meant that I could seriously impress my English professor last term in an exam (it probably didn't help that I could also quote a Christina Rossetti poem that we hadn't even studied). Despite my indifference to the Romantics in general, I can see their importance in literary history and I have since learned and studied a fair bit of their poetry. If one wants more information on them BBC Radio 4's In Our Time did a good show on them a few years ago.

Overall I do enjoy poetry and I hope to share more of my favourites here in the future.


My Antonia by Willa Cather. I'm almost done this one but I don't want to rush it because I am enjoying it so much. I should be done with it tomorrow at the latest. 

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. I started reading a chapter on the importance of understanding and organizing the structure of a book.

I continue my history self-education by reading The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. Still not really making any progress here.

I am about to start The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.


I seem to have had a pretty prolific reading week this week. I did finish one more book that isn't featured here because that book will be featured on my blog later this week so I will link to that review next week.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (review) which I read for the Women Unbound Challenge.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [audio] by J. K. Rowling (review)

Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb (review)


Fall into Reading
I am reading:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (review)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (review)
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs
Almost done My Ántonia by Willa Cather.

Childhood Favourites Challenge
The original post is here:
The Babysitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin (review)
A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Madicken by Astrid Lindgren
Nothing read for this one this week but I did get A Horse Called Wonder.

The Really Old Classics Challenge
Introductory post here:
I'll be reading:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
I might also add the extra credit challenge but I haven't decided yet.

I am also taking part in The Classic Circuit: On Tour With Elizabeth Gaskell where I will be reading Cranford. The Circuit will be visiting my blog on December 18th so please stop by then!

Women Unbound Challenge
I ended up joining this challenge. I wonder if there is a twelve step program? Introductory post is here.
1. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
2. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (short story)
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. Madicken by Astrid Lindgren
5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

1. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
2. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
3. Living History by Hillary Clinton

Fun Stuff
I signed up for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. Which I am very excited about. Sign ups end on Thursday November 12th so if you want to join in the fun hurry up!

I have also signed up for the Progressive Dinner Party that Amy, Nicole and Julie are hosting December 7-11. It looks like great fun!

I also wrote a post (and joined) the I am Buying Books for the Holidays. I strongly believe in encouraging reading!

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