Monthly Archives: April 2013

Review: Madame Bovary

Posted 30 April, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

Madame Bovary
By: Gustave Flaubert
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment, and when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations, the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi.’

Some time ago I was on the hunt for some novels featuring a lot of internal drama (one of my favourite topics/facets in novels); someone had mentioned this novel. I’ve been slowly getting around to my classics (this year is shaping up to be the year of French classic literature) and decided to read this book at long last. Contains spoilers ahead!

This book is part of the Books on France Reading Challenge 2013 that I am participating in.

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Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 30 April, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 23 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

This is quite a unique topic for this week! I had to think long and hard on this one, lol. However, I’m going to modify my list slightly and say top ten words/topics that make me consider picking up/buying a book =)

(image source)

In no particular order:

  1. Novels with internal character drama — The other year I was going around GoodReads on the look out for some awesome novels featuring internal character drama. The title of the book escapes me at the moment as to what novel prompted this quest (I should make a list of my own one of these days about it) but yeah, novels with internal character drama gets my full attention and consideration *thumbs up*
  2. Novels involving epic quests/stakes/scopes — Despite of the shift towards the more realistic, gritty side in fantasy, I still enjoy fantasy novels that have this epic scope to it (same goes for sci-fi, which is why I lean towards space opera). Doesn’t have to be a quest per se (that word just came to mind) but yeah, just novels with an epic, world-shifting, character-building kind of scope will definitely catch my attention.
  3. Novels set in Italy — I think that speaks for itself =D
  4. Anything set in or involving Russian elements (setting, characters, history, etc.) — Yeah, that academic part of my life will never leave me =P
  5. Novels that contain a place in its titleThe Daughter of Siena (review), Russka, Paris: the Novel (review), Winter in Madrid (review)…Yeah, pretty much any book with a European/Eurasian city or country gets my attention xD
  6. The word “time” in the title/time travel as a feature — I like reading books involving time and time travel =) Aside from space opera, it’s my favourite subgenre/topic in science fiction =D
  7. Novels featuring family sagas/dramas — Because novels involving families and family dramas almost always involve some good internal character drama…the multi-generational stories are especially interesting to read =)
  8. The word “winter” in the title/wintery covers — Don’t know if it’s because I’m Canadian or what but I’m drawn by that season in books xD
  9. World War Two — The best stories that I’ve enjoyed reading usually comes from those set during the Second World War. I guess there’s something about that war that just ups the ante so to speak, forces people to act a certain way or respond in a way that wouldn’t have worked had the story been set in another war or another era…
  10. Novels featuring themes of old school mannerisms — for lack of a better word because I didn’t think “comedy of manners” fit the phrase as well (it’s late and I’m not functioning properly =P) but I enjoy reading books set during the Regency era or turn of the century novels featuring the upper classes of Society and their very specific code of behaviour and stuff. It’s just fascinating; a novel featuring this stuff will definitely catch my attention xD

Edit: I forgot to mention books which are Man Booker Prize winners/long & shortlisted…and a couple of other things…but I’ll stop there =P

And those are some of the things that would drive me to pick up a book! What words or topics did you feature this week? =)

Website: April Updates + Links

Posted 29 April, 2013 by Lianne in Website / 2 Comments

Not my gif, as always ^^

  1. As always, I read a ton of books this month including Janet Fitch’s White Oleander and Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux Camelias. You can find the reviews for these books in the book review tag.
  2. I continue to review ARCs of novels that came out recently, including Edward Rutherfurd’s Paris (review) and Jennifer Close’s The Smart One (review). You can read all of the reviews of the ARCs I’ve read in this tag.
  3. Since I’m following a number of literary prizes this year, I decided to compile them all into one post. Well, the ones I’m following anyways =P
  4. Okay, I wasn’t planning on joining a reading challenge this year but I just had to sign up for the Books on France Reading Challenge. I seem to be reading a lot of books set in France or written by a French author and this reading challenge is a lot of fun. You could see what books I’ve decided to read for this challenge in this post
  5. I’ve also started posting about comic books! You can see what I’ve posted up so far by checking out my Comics category. Yay!
  6. No new movie reviews this month but I did start watching Orphan Black, the awesome and thrilling new science fiction show from BBC (and filmed here in Toronto! Canada representing =)). If you haven’t been watching this show…well, why aren’t you watching this show?! It’s crazy awesome. Anyways, I posted up my thoughts from the first three episodes over here
  7. Finally, two of my articles were recently published in this month’s issues of The Catholic Register. Click on the links to find out more about them:

And of course, the following are interesting links that I’ve come across over the past month:

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Review: Amity & Sorrow

Posted 27 April, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Amity & Sorrow
By: Peggy Riley
Format/Source: galley courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

A mother and her daughters drive for days without sleep until they crash their car in rural Oklahoma. The mother, Amaranth, is desperate to get away from someone she’s convinced will follow them wherever they go–her husband. The girls, Amity and Sorrow, can’t imagine what the world holds outside their father’s polygamous compound. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of Bradley, a farmer grieving the loss of his wife. At first unwelcoming to these strange, prayerful women, Bradley’s abiding tolerance gets the best of him, and they become a new kind of family. An unforgettable story of belief and redemption, Amity & Sorrow is about the influence of community and learning to stand on your own.

This novel caught my attention just last week. The cover was intriguing (why were their wrists bound together like that? The colours are also easy on the eyes and the font type is simplistic but pretty) and the premise was just as intriguing. I was pre-approved for a galley copy of this book through NetGalley so I decided to check it out. May contain some minor spoilers ahead!

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Article: Youth Speak News [26 April 2013]

Posted 26 April, 2013 by Lianne in Writing / 0 Comments

The Catholic Register: Youth Speak News

My latest column for Youth Speak News is available on the website now! Entitled Renaissance Reveals Faith, I wrote about my recent trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario to visit the exhibit Revealing the Early Renaissance: Secrets and Stories in Florentine Art.

I really enjoyed my trip to the AGO for this exhibit, partly because I haven’t been to the art gallery in years, not since before the major renovation that pretty much revamped the entire gallery. The exhibit itself contained a myriad of art pieces, from manuscripts to triptychs (panels such as the photo on the left that were commonly used on altars), from various collections located around the world. Stepping into the exhibit, it was like stepping back to Italy again as a lot of the churches there do feature Renaissance art.

The visit was also quite a learning experience. The historian in me obviously was \o/ looking at the artwork, contemplating on how these pieces were seen by many in the 14th century in churches and chapels, how the copies of Dante’s Inferno were shelved in the family library–I was actually quite amused by those copies, they’re quite readable =) But it’s also interesting because these artists are not as well known as the common names of Michelangelo and da Vinci in the later/high period of the Renaissance. These artists paved the way, so to speak, trying new techniques and bringing art out of the medieval forms and towards the humanistic, Renaissance style. I also learned a lot about what triptychs are, what the Laudario di Sant’Agnese was, what confraternities do and about the art community located just outside of Florence.

All in all, it was a fun excursion to the gallery; I also took the time to check out the European collection, which was lovely. It was quite a dizzying experience in that there’s so much to see and the new layout of the gallery left me sort of trying to navigate my way around. Anyways, let me know what you think of the column (in which I contemplated more about the presence of faith and the communal culture of the Catholic church) and if you’re in town, I’d recommend checking it out at some point *thumbs up*