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Little Women

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little women

Little Women
Louis May Alcott
first published 1868

***WARNING: I will be discussing why some people consider this a freezer book.***

So going into my re-read of this classic, I only remembered two things from my first experience (and I can’t even remember when that first experience was): Beth dies, and Jo marries the wrong man. At least that was my childish recollection of things.

Boy, things sure can change when you re-read things as an adult.

My thoughts after the re-read have been revised to something like this:

  • Why did it take so long for Beth to die?? Pardon the expression, but I felt she needed to either shit, or get off of the pot. In other words, choose to live, or die already, you wishy-washy spineless little miss. Perhaps it was because I knew it was coming, or perhaps it was because I didn’t like her this go-around, but I was relieved to finally hit the Valley of the Shadows chapter. No need for the freezer for me! In fact, I might have uttered a little yippee.
  • Marmee. Holy hell lady, you need to shove a sock in it. I soon got tired of all of her Marmee-isms. I have a fairly clean house, but I’m sure that paragon of cleanliness would just die of apoplexy should she see it. Along with me sitting around reading instead of cleaning. Or that Hamburger is often left to find his own dinner (something that he is most capable of) should I not feel like cooking dinner. Sorry Marmee, but I am all about the downtime.
  • Also, you gave away your daughters’ breakfast to the poor? That’s nice, but they were hungry, too! I could so call CWS on you, bitch
  • I was actually glad that Jo didn’t marry Laurie (aka the mopey little shit). I actually like Amy and Laurie as a couple, even if I was a little worried for Amy as the rebound girl. And then I was a little worried for their little girl. You know, with a name like Beth. Do you want the poor child to be a sickly little girl that only wants to die?!?
  • It’s a good thing this was written before Teddy Bears hit the market, because Jo and Professor Bhaer named their child Teddy. That’s right. Teddy Bhaer. Swear to god, that was the funniest thing in the whole book, and it wasn’t even menat to be.
  • Mr. March is so forgettable I was actually surprised to see that he was even in the book!

And okay, I know I’m being particularly harsh and judging this book on by my modern standards, but the focus on being all motherly and housewifey made me cringe. Often and frequently. And as I’m sure you guessed, I found it overly preachy. With the emphasis on being a home-maker and wanting to die, I’m not really sure why this book is still around. I’m tempted to say it was the Twilight of the time, only you know…better written.

Go ahead…string me up for bashing such a beloved book.

Written by softdrink

March 18, 2013 at 1:00 am

#marchon —> #marmeeon

with 14 comments

So it’s only Day 2 of the readalong formerly known as the #marchon. And two things:

1. I still haven’t started the book. Although OTHER PEOPLE (Ali) have finished. Overachiever.

2. We will now be tweeting using the #marmeeon hashtag. Because certain other pople (not Ali) seem to think that March is all about basketball and they have already claimed #marchon for their nefarious purposes. And since I spent last month trying to separate out our #shineon tweets from god-only-knows-what-those-other-people-were-yammering-on-about, we decided to change our name. To the #marmeeon, because hello…who doesn’t love Marmee? And also, I’m pretty sure no one else will be hijacking that to talk about basketball or moonshine or whatever.

Oh wait. A third thing:

Penguin Threads Little Women coverThis is the version that Vasilly is reading and I. AM. SO. JEALOUS. Isn’t it purty?


Written by softdrink

March 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Ready, set, #marchon!

with 9 comments

photo (10)Just a reminder that today we’re starting our readalong of Little Women. It’s never to late to join!


Written by softdrink

March 1, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in #marchon, read-along

The Shining

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So here we are at the end of the month. Which means the end of the #shineon. And as much as I have loved all of the other Uncle Stevie books I’ve read over the past year, I must say…this one fell flat. In fact, this was about as creepy as it got for me:

photo (9)

Thank you #marblecam. I think.

It’s a weird thing to say, but I think that I actually prefer King’s longer books. Because I generally love his characters (or love to hate them), and I think a big part of that is because after I’ve spent 1000 plus pages with them, I feel like I’ve really gotten to know them. Sometimes more than I want to. But the characters in The Shining were just meh.

Unless they were hedge animals. And then they scared the bejeebers out of me.

Plus, the ending. All that build-up for a horrific scene of spousal abuse? I thought Jack’s final possession was totally anti-climatic…it needed more something. Which is a bizarre admission from someone who professes to not like horror, I know. I keep saying that I think I need to watch the movie, because I’m pretty sure Jack Nicholson could fill in all of the missing scare, but given a choice between watching a movie and pretty much anything else, I usually go with the anything else. Heck, I didn’t even watch the Oscars, so that tells you what Kubrick’s chances are for gaining another fan.

For the most part, I listened to this one (occasionally I picked up the tattered paper copy I found at the library sale) and I felt the narrator was a bit too calm. He certainly wasn’t causing any anxiety as I listened, which seemed odd for something that was supposed to be scary. And at times he sounded oddly like Jack Nicholson, which also seemed wrong. But that’s probably just me picking at nits.

HOWEVER. My lack of enthusiasm will not keep me from reading the sequel (Dr. Sleep! (only without the exclamation mark that I felt I had to interject because I think any new King is worth an !)), which is due out in September and which will re-visit Danny, all grown up. Yes, there will be a readalong for that, too. The #sleepalong? #sleepin?

Also, Ti alerted me to this. That’s right, come June, the circus is back in town! No, it’s not a sequel to IT, and okay, it’s an amusement park, not a circus…but there could still be clowns. Good thing I still have my nose. And it’s another chance for a readalong, people!

Plus, it seems like the #DomeAlong (capitals are essential, otherwise it becomes the #DoMeAlong to some perverts) is going to be The Event of the Season (May and June). Under the Dome is quite possibly my favorite King (it’s either that or 11/22/63 (which I always want to call 11/23/62 and I have to google to see which one it is, much to the shame of my inner historian) so I really, really, really want you to read it with me.

It’s pretty much All King, All the Time around here these days.

And I got a little sidetracked there. Sorry…at least I still have enthusiasm for future King books! Either that or the caffeine has hit the bloodstream.

Anyways…..back to the point of this whole post. I didn’t care for The Shining, but I wasn’t the only involved in this readalong, so let me know what YOU thought. And if you’ve already written a post, please let me know where it is by leaving a link in the comments, because I was a BAD, BAD blogger this month and pretty much checked out on reading everyone’s blog. But I promise I’ll write a wrap-post with everyone’s thoughts and links next week. Really!


Written by softdrink

February 28, 2013 at 6:00 am


with 17 comments

“I like good strong words that mean something…” Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

little women

Florinda and I will be reading (or re-reading) Little Women in March. Because March is a most suitable month for the March sisters. And because I read this book so long ago that I don’t even remember when I read it. Although I do remember the two things that pissed me off. But it’s too soon to be going into detail on that. Anyhoosie…I need better memories of this book! And I need a support group, so you should totally join us. Because this readalong is all about ME. 😉

It will all be quite low-key (in other words…I ain’t got no button and I ain’t got no party favors for this shin-dig), but we’d still love for you to join us. And if you need to pull a Joey and stick the book in the freezer, I’ll totally understand (that’s from a Friends episode, in case you were wondering).

The details:

  • Read, listen, or watch…your choice…between March 1st and March 31st
  • Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #marchon
  • Post your thoughts whenever
  • I’ll put up a check-in post mid-month, and a wrap-up post when it’s all over

So have I talked you into it?? Or have I scared you away with my bad memories? It’s totally a classic that EVERYONE should read at least once (if not twice) in their life. And if you haven’t read it, you know you want to know why Joey wants to put the book in the freezer.

Written by softdrink

February 25, 2013 at 3:00 am

Posted in #marchon, read-along

#shineon check-in

with 14 comments

redrumSo here we are (more than) halfway through the month and it’s time to check in and see how we’re all doing with The Shining.

Consensus on twitter seems to be that, at least compared to King’s other books, it is (to borrow Trish’s word) a bit of a “snoozefest.”

I’m on Chapter 41, and I have to agree. So far my favorite character is Dick Halloran, and he’s only had a few brief appearances (and one of those was that deadly boring kitchen inventory, so I’m not really sure why I even like him). I am sick to death of Jack. Sick, I tell ya! Also, Wendy and Danny are getting on my nerves as well. This is turning out to be one damn long winter at the Overlook Hotel.

As I’ve been listening (and occasionally reading) I keep thinking this would be MUCH scarier as a movie. And rumor has it that’s true. I really do need to put my big girl panties on and rent the movie. Maybe then I’d like the book more?

Anyhoosie, those are my brief thoughts. How are the rest of you doing?


Written by softdrink

February 15, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in #shineon, read-along

Field trip!

with 15 comments

Too bad all the #shineon readers don’t live in Davis, CA. We could meet for lunch here:

redrum burgerI’ve actually eaten there, and the food is pretty tasty. And true fact…before it was called Redrum Burger? It was Murder Burger.

Written by softdrink

February 5, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in #shineon