Saturday, April 26, 2014

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

This was the story of Janie Crawford, a black woman in the south. Janie was married three times. Her second husband took her to Eatonville, Florida, one of the first all black towns to be incorporated in the US. It didn't say when the story was set, but it was published in 1937. It was an interesting story, but the dialog was written in vernacular, which I found difficult to read. This was my American Classic for the Back to the Classics 2014 reading challenge and I rated it 3 out of 5.

Lesson 7 Simultaneous Contrast

This assignment in Katie Pasquini Masopust's Online Color Composition and Design Course was to use multiple values of analogous colors for the background and a complementary color on top.  The complement was supposed to look darker on the light fabric and lighter on the dark fabric.  For some reason, that didn't work in my piece, but I like the composition of this anyway.  And yes, this really is Lesson 7 (for those of you keeping up with my posts LOL); I haven't had a chance to finish Lesson 6 yet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I have wanted to read this ever since I did an online quiz that told me that the Jane Austen character I was most like was Elinor Dashwood. Yes, that's a pretty shallow and silly reason, I know, but at least I finally read it. While I enjoyed the book, I didn't think it was as good as Pride and Prejudice. It took me awhile to get used to the language, which is more formal and complex than our language today, so it was kind of slow going for me. There was one plot point that was very similar to one from P&P, and you pretty much know the ending of any Austen novel from the start, but the fun is seeing how it gets there. I rate it 3 out of 5. This is my Classic by a Woman Author for the Back to the Classics 2014 reading challenge.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller

I read this book for one of the optional categories in the classics reading challenge I'm doing this year:  historical fiction classic. We're in Tennessee visiting friends right now, like we do (almost) every year at this time. Nancy is in a book club that met on Tuesday, and this was the book they read this month. I am sort of an honorary member of the club, since I only attend once a year. I'm really glad that this was the book they read, because I'd never heard of the book before and I thought it was a REALLY good book.

It was published in 1933 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1934. It is set in the backwoods of South Georgia during the years before and shortly after the Civil War. It is about a young couple, newly married, and follows their lives and the lives of their extended families over about 25 years. It shows the hardships of life in those times and reminded me frequently how easy and good my own life is, with running water, electricity, good medical care, plentiful food, etc. I loved the language and found it lyrical in many places, such as this quote from page 129 of my copy:
"Her heart had never been uplifted so high, nor cast down so low -- uplifted because she believed that this was the right thing for her to do, and downcast because she could not make her heart do this thing without nighabout breaking it. For a heart may be lifted up and cast down in the same moment, as sometimes sunshine comes while rain is falling, and builds upward in the sky tall reaches of misty, unlikely beauty."
Or this quote from page 304:
"Time does not pass in a clock's ticking; oh no! It goes like gusts of wind past the north corner of a house. Stay in the sun on the south side and you never know a wind is blowing, but breast around the north corner, and it will jerk your breath from out of your ribs. It is blowing, but you don't notice it, until that baby-chile, Mary Magnolia, is ready to stand up and take a husband and go yonder to Dicie Smith's house to live."
I rate it 5 out of 5.