According to my Harmon and Holman A Handbook to Literature, “romance” has had a special meaning in terms of literature since the beginning of the novel. As opposed to a “novel,” a term which suggested realistic manners and society, a “romance” was more unlikely to happen in reality. In common usage, [romance] refers to works

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I believe it is possible to be very glad I read a book and yet still not really like it. I read not just for entertainment but for broader perspective. Reading Balzac certainly gave me a different perspective. In a sense, it’s kind of a mix between Dumas (humorous exaggeration) and Zola (heart-breaking realism). Honoré

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This first week of May is Persephone Reading Week, which means bloggers around the blogosphere are reading books by the British publisher Persephone. I do not typically search out books based on publisher. Yet, Claire and Verity have such an (I think it’s fair to say) obsession with this publisher that it certainly caught my

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Sometimes I just need something light. Something that makes me chuckle. I’ve been reading a lot of old classics (which I love) and nonfiction (which fascinates me). But when I went to start another portion of my painting project, I needed something light and funny. I couldn’t concentrate on serious when I was doing a

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In the end, I sighed with satisfaction. Yes, everything would be alright in Miss Matty Jenkyn’s town of Cranford. I wasn’t sure I liked Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s Cranford for most of my reading, and to be honest, the snippets of life in the town of Cranford irritated me at first. But in the end, it all

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In The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Thursday Next is an agent for SO-27, working in the Literatec division in alternative 1985. Her job is to stop literary thieves from taking original manuscripts. This is a very important job, for people in Thursday’s world are able step in and out of books: if one were

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