Advice to Readers Who Are Afraid of Classics (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks is a meme hosted at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.  Founded and run by Briana and Krysta, Pages Unbound is one of my absolute favorite sites.  So I always love when I can throw my two cents in on a Classic Remarks discussion.  So, dear readers, let’s get the conversation rolling!

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The Great Gatsby: A Classic I Read in School and Ended Up Loving (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks is a meme hosted at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.  Pages Unbound, founded and run by Briana and Krysta, is one of my absolute favorite sites.  In addition to adoring their content, I love the sense of community they’ve built there.  So I was SUPER EXCITED when I saw this week’s prompt because I knew I had something to contribute!  Without further ado, who’s ready to chat about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby? Continue reading

Influential Books In My Own Ongoing Education About Systemic Racism

I have read a lot of articles and social media posts by black authors and activists over the last week who have said the same thing.  In this moment in time, the role of white allies is to listen to and learn from black voices, to stand with the movement and march in solidarity, and, if needed, put our white privilege to a just use by placing our white bodies between the police and black bodies during peaceful demonstrations.  What was stressed again and again is that this is not the time for white voices to lead, to speak out, and/or to make it “about us” – something, sadly, all too rare in American history.  What is most important is for white Americans to listen and learn, to hear what our black sisters and brothers are saying and to follow their lead in the struggle against the sin of systemic racism. Continue reading

Black Widow: Forever Red – Some Thoughts on YA

A month or so ago Jeff alerted me to the exciting reality that Barnes & Noble (at least the one by him) had the hardcover editions of BOTH Margaret Stohl’s Black Widow novels – Black Widow: Forever Red and Black Widow: Red Vengeance – in their bargain section.  A hurried trip to and quick investigation of my local Barnes & Noble yielded the same prize!  I love Margaret Stohl’s work on the Captain Marvel seriesI love Black Widow as a character.  So, naturally, they both came home with me.  Given all the grading that comes with the end of the school year, I didn’t have the chance to read either until now.  I finished the first novel, Black Widow: Forever Red, the other day and I enjoyed a great deal of it…but it also highlighted one of the problems I find at times with YA novels in general.  And this, I felt, warranted a little reflection. Continue reading

Top Five Wednesday – Favorite First Sentences

Top Five LogoThis week those crazy cats over at Goodreads have issued the following challenge to the world of Top 5 Wednesday writers – put together a list of your top five favorite first sentences.  Sounds intriguing right??  It is!  However, once I considered it, I realized this would end up being trickier than I thought.  I am excellent at quoting films or shows I love – and even certain lines in literature.  But, with the exception of a few classic lines, I don’t tend to remember the first sentence of even the books that are most beloved to me.  But I didn’t let that stop me!  So here you have it folks, my list of five favorite first sentences! Continue reading