Reviewed: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think is my favourite Austen title I have read to date. The language wasn’t as hard and he characters were likeable.

Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters whose situation changes drastically at the beginning of the book. As with most Austen it is about exploring their character flaws but overcoming them in the name of love.

Initially, I found Elinor a bit dull but as her narrative continued I found myself liking her the most. She was caring and sensible and tried her hardest to make Marianne see a bit more than what was directly in front of her. I liked that she could change her first impressions.

Generally, I struggle to read Austen for long periods but Sense and Sensibility pulled me in and I just wanted and needed to know how it ended and was there a happy ending for our lovely sisters.

This one will definitely go onto the bookshelf.

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Reviewed: No Chopsticks Required

No Chopsticks RequiredNo Chopsticks Required by Katrina Beikoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book completely surprised me and left me a bit shocked. It is the account of the authors year in Shanghai and what she experienced.

I thought it was a great read to get an idea on life in China has a foreigner and the roadblocks that can get in the way. It made me really a bit scared of ever gong or living there. Everything is so strict and children appear to be treated like robots.

One disappointment was the author, I got more and more frustrated that she lived there a year and didn’t appear to try and pick up the language. Her kids (2 and 4) were needed to translate for her! I just feel like if you’re going to live in a country where you don’t speak the language you need to actually give it a try instead of complaining about the language barrier every 5 pages.

It could have been more interesting and I think it might have been if they were able to integrate with the locals more but overall it was quite an enjoyable read.

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Favourite finds of 2010

I’ve been able to find some great new things (online and offline) in 2010 that have kept me interested throughout the year. Here are 5 of my favourites:

1. Favourite new TV show: Modern Family
I think this might have started in 2009 but it wasn’t aired in Australia until 2010. This was actually a hard one to pick just one awesome TV show of 2010. I didn’t think it would happen, Lost finished up and I thought that might be the end of the TV world as I know it. Then there was Modern Family, what a smart and hilarious show! I want to be a Dunphy yo! I hope it just gets better and better.

2. Favourite blogger: Rose
I was really lucky that one day Rose commented on my blog. I love her posts be them corny or heartfelt or informative (even though I don’t understand much of the tutorials… but that is because I’m lazy) they are all great. I can’t wait till my reader pops up telling me there is a new post over at lifeasrose. Her layouts are also super awesome!

3. Favourite new Forum: JoltMB
This is an awesome and incredibly active forum. The members are really nice and they are actually in my age group! Well, mostly, I might be on the older edge of that but it is nice going to a forum where the majority of the members are older than 17 and understand how tough it can be to pay rent and bills.
Jolt also has this great stamp TCG which the admins put a heap of effort into making sure it is always fresh and fun. It is the first time I’ve ever seen something like this at a forum.
Oh and the neat thing? They’re having a double coins day on the 29th Dec! So hurry up and join! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and tell them Kalliste sent you.

4. Favourite new drink: Watermelon Gatorade
I know you might not think this is important but let me correct you, IT IS! This might be the most awesomest drink ever. It actually tastes like watermelon rather than watermelon flavouring! My local shops is the only place I can find it and it sometimes goes for $4 for 600ml so I wait for them to put it on special ($2) and then buy like 10 bottles!! And drink them all in a week. It is all sorts of delicious.

5. Favourite author: Jane Austen
So I know she isn’t new to 2010 but she is new to me for 2010. I’ve never been one to read the classics but after watching Lost in Austen I decided to give it a shot. I just had to know what the big deal was about Darcy. Once I got past all of them language barriers it has been a lovely read. I’m hoping to build up my collection.

So there you have it, the standard and weird. You better go try that Gatorade and now! ๐Ÿ™‚ But first, let me know what new finds you have enjoyed in 2010.

Oh Darcy, you lovely man!

Yes, I have finished it and I promise this will be the last of the Darcy posts (here and here) unless of course you like them that is. Well, then I could probably go on all day about him.

Anyway, yes, have finished. I will say it was hard work. The language is incredible and I was sometimes so lost in conversations that I would need to go back and re-read 5 pages to realise who was speaking to who and which dialogue belonged to which character. Also, I continued to wonder “Why is Jane always referred to as Miss Bennet, when the other sisters aren’t?” and “what does &c. mean at the end of all their letters?”. Mind boggling to say the least!

Now, while I did enjoy Mr Darcy, I have to say I don’t believe I ever swooned. I’m still surprised there isn’t more Bingley or Wickham love. Darcy was more of a nagging thought that a physical being. I think I’d have loved to read the book in Darcy’s point of view… is there such a book because I think it would be highly entertaining? Possibly filled with much inner dialogue and the continuous reminders and I imagine they’d going a little something like this: “Stay calm! Yes, they’re all so very stupid but just… stay… calm. You can leave in 10 minutes. Yes, leave in 10 minutes! Oh, what a thought! I don’t think I could bear another minute with this ghastly Mrs Bennet! How does Miss Bennet and Elizabeth do it? Honestly! Oh, here she is again! Stay calm… you can do it Darcy!”

… it had to be said.

I do love him I think though, he is just such an adorable man with high morals and overly just shy. So, while I don’t swoon I’d have no objections to being Elizabeth ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, finally I can close the book and return this unsightly edition back to the library. I am considering buying it actually. I went to the local second hand today who didn’t have an individual copy but did have a Penguin Classics Austen boxset! It was all very exciting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it at the time but soon…

… although perhaps I should read some more Austen before making that decision. Maybe I’m tainted by Wickham and Darcy.

A quick Darcy update

So, here is the goss!

I ended up borrowing Pride and Prejudice from the library the day after my previous post. Now, I was quite excited to find that there was a copy available for me that very day. However, it happened to be the new edition. The new Twilight inspired edition. Luckily, it is cover only but the experience feels a little bit tainted. Especially considering that the catchphrase is “Love isn’t always at first sight” – seriously, that very nearly put me off. Instead, I took a deep breath and repeated the thought “It’s only the cover! The content is the same. It’s only the cover! The Content is the same” and borrowed it still feeling a bit jilted that I didn’t have the opportunity of a nice Penguin Classic.

Oh, and did I mention that on the cover it suggests I’ll love Wuthering Heights because it is Edward and Bella’s favourite book? Mhmm.

Anyway, I’m about half way through and while I am having some trouble keeping up with the nattering in Elizabeth’s head I am quite enjoying it. I am a bit disappointed at the current lack of Darcy given that I figured it’d be all about him but all in all a lovely read. I would like to slap the Bingley sisters a little though. Would that be unladylike of me? Because I think I’d like to throw Mrs Bennet into the ‘to be slapped’ pile too ๐Ÿ˜›

While, I am still hear hoping for a Darcy moment I am happy to read on and think of Wickham instead.