The Bronte Project

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I got knocked off the Internet twice while trying to get this entry written, and then I had a hard time getting the picture to post, so the entry is going up later than I had planned.

Today is the end of week 6, so it's time for the end of the week count:


PAGES - 1,841

For the whole year so far:


PAGES - 11,332

Yesterday I mentioned that I was thinking of letting you vote on what books I should read for the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Today I'm going to put up the 3 possibilities for the 18th. You can vote on which one you want me to read from now until the 17th. Please leave your vote in the comments sections - or if you can't get the comments to work then you can e-mail it to me at - and please put your vote separate from your regular comments because I don't want to publish the votes until after the book that won has been revealed, and I do still want to be able to publish your regular comments right away.

I've decided that I should read on the 18th a book in honor of Black History Month, so the options for that day are:

The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation by Drew D. Hansen

Like a Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963 by Patrcik Henry Bass

Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story, 1900-1971 by Max Jones & John Chilton

So, let me know which book you want me to read on the 18th dear readers.

I have a very bad headache today, that's been with me for most of the day, so reading today's book was a bit challenging. All I wanted to do was turn off all the lights, crawl into bed, and not move for about 12 hours. But I muddled through the book anyway, even though I can't say that I enjoyed even a moment of it.

Today's book; "Vandever's irreverent debut novel dips into Victorian letters for inspiration, dredging up romantic angst to frame and foil a love story set in the age of new media. Sara Frost, a timid Charlotte BrontĂ« scholar at a fictionalized New York university, is dragging her feet on both her engagement and her thesis, rooting around for Charlotte's vanished letters of unrequited love. The staid campus is roiled with the arrival of self-aggrandizing, firebrand Princess Diana scholar Claire Vigee. Sara's restive fiancĂ© Paul, ignited by Claire's exhortations, bids her adieu and heads for Paris. Knocked off balance, Sara finds salvation in New Age narcissist Byrne Eammons, a film producer, who angles to spice up Charlotte's story for modern moviegoers. Drawn to Los Angeles and then Europe, Sara slowly finds her voice—determined not to suffer the fate of the "silent Victorian" she studies. Vandever, a screenwriter, sends up the pretensions of academia and the frippery of "infotainment," with its fast and loose readings of history. As Victorian romance runs up against pop psychology and banal reality, currents of love and longing unite past and present, but Vandever leavens Sara's self-discovery with liberal comic relief in this wickedly clever novel."

I must confess two things right away dear readers; 1. I've never read anything that was written by any of the Brontes (a sad, sad problem that I plan to correct as soon as possible) and 2. I didn't find this book wickedly clever, or even all that interesting. The book was filled with a lot of conversations that were both incredibly odd and very boring. I usually find odd conversations somewhat entertaining, but this time was the exception.

I learned one random fact to toss out at parties: Romeo and Juliet met on a Sunday and were both dead by Thursday. Clearly Romeo and Juliet didn't believe in taking things slow. I'm always amazed with books and movies how fast things move - the average movie courtship seems to last somewhere between 1 and 2 weeks, and books aren't much better. I know the intended effect is supposed to be to show the viewer/reader just how meant to be these two people are for one another, but all it does for me is make me sit there and channel my parents and say, "Oh come on, that's not realistic at all." Both of my parents make a habit of dissecting every movie and TV show they watch to point out all of the parts that are not realistic. I try to resist doing the same when I watch/read something, but there's that little part of them in me that makes me say, "That's not believable at all."

The theme of the book (this is as close to a serious discussion you're ever going to find on this blog) seems to be exploring how the main character, Sarah (it's actually spelled Sara in the book, but I like it better with an h and this is my blog, so I'm spelling it the way I prefer it) has read so many romantic/classic novels that she has begun to romanticize life and feel let down by the realities of life and love. I know that I do that sometimes in little ways - I remember how let down I was when I was 14 and I flew on an airplane for the first time. The airport was such a let down - it was nothing like how it seemed in books. But I don't think I do that with big things - I have too much of my parents penchant for picking out the unrealistic parts of books and movies for that.

I don't even know if that last paragraph made sense or not because my headache has reached the point where I'm having trouble seeing the words in front of me. And now I'm going to go lie down in a dark room for awhile. Please join me tomorrow, dear readers, when I read a book in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday.