Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want To Start

toptentuesdayTo be honest, I don’t read that many book series. It’s not because I don’t like them–I really do! Sometimes I love a book so much I wish it could have endless amounts of sequels. And my favorite book of all time, Anne of Green Gables, is the first book in an 8-book series, which I still wish could have been longer ;)

I think the reason I don’t read very many series is because I don’t want to wait for each installment to be released. I’m not the most patient person… Usually when I read a series I wait to start it until all of the books have been published, or until just before the last book is to be released. The only exception that comes to mind is Harry Potter, which I started reading after the third one came out.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme gives me a chance to list some of the series I have been thinking about starting. I added some TV shows into the mix as well.

Top Ten Book and TV Series I Want to Start

MazeRunner PercyJackson LegendCinder SomethingStrangeDeadly Delirium

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner – Just bought the 4-book box set so I’ll be reading this soon!
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan – This has been on my TBR for a while.
The Legend series by Marie Lu – I’ve only heard great things about this YA dystopian series.
The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer – I haven’t read very many science fiction books!
Something Strange and Deadly series by Susan Dennard – Getting ready to read this first installment for my book club, actually!
Delirium series by Lauren Oliver – Another YA dystopian series (I’m addicted)

Blacklist VeronicaMars
supernatural3 BeautyBeast

The Blacklist – My mom keeps raving about this series and about how much I’d love it. My husband has already watched the Pilot and he agrees. I only haven’t started watching because I don’t have the time right now. During the winter TV hiatus I’ll probably binge watch it.
Veronica Mars – So many of my friends loved this show and I think I’d like it, too.
Supernatural – Like Doctor Who and Sherlock, I know this show has a huge fan base. I’ve always been interested but I don’t really know much about the show so I’m saving it for a rainy, let’s binge watch Netflix kind of day.
Beauty & the Beast – I watched the Pilot earlier this year because my sister-in-law likes this show. I really love Beauty and the Beast adaptations, so I’m going to watch this show soon.

 

What are some book and television series you’ve been dying to start? I’d love any other recommendations as well!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wrap Up!

readathonYesterday I participated in my first 24 hour read-a-thon! I didn’t get to start reading until 7 hours after the official start time, but I ended up reading for about 10 hours straight, so I felt satisfied with that :)

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 18. That’s when I decided to call it a night. I got to that place where I kept having to refocus my eyes and my thoughts kept wandering :/ Next time I may drink some coffee or do some jumping jacks.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Anything fast-paced or action packed. My husband, who rarely reads, starting reading The Maze Runner yesterday and he was up as late as I was because he couldn’t put it down. Next year I’ll try reading something more suspenseful.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, not really. I didn’t do any of the mini challenges or tweet much with anyone online, so I can’t really give any input in that area. I’m sure everything was great though :)
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The advertising and preparation leading up to the big day.
  5. How many books did you read? I finished the second half of one book, read the first half of another, and read the first several chapters of a third.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Lola and the Boy Next Door (finished), Peter Pan (read the first half), and Isla and the Happily Ever After (started).
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I enjoyed them all, really.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? ^^
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I saw lots of praise for the cheerleaders so that’s good :) I only blogged once during the read-a-thon so I didn’t really hear much from any cheerleaders. If I had blogged more I’m sure that would have been different.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? 100% likely! The next read-a-thon in April will probably be easier for me…Saturdays in autumn are usually filled with football games, and yesterday was a big game day for my Alma Mater FSU :)

Did you participate in the Read-a-Thon? I’m so happy I did! The next one is in April and I’m already excited about it :)

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

readathonEarlier this year I found out about Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon and I really wanted to participate during the next one. Well, today is the day, and unfortunately my morning did not start off the way I thought it would, and because of that I have only now started reading.

But that’s ok! I never intended for this read-a-thon to be an obligation or to be full of pressure; I wanted to participate to have some fun and to spend some time getting through my TBR stack.

So here are the books I’m hoping to finish or make a decent dent in:

readalong

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – This book is due back at the library next week! I’m already nearly halfway through and if I can finish it soon I will probably start the final novel of the series, Isla and the Happily Ever After.

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings – To help get me into the Halloween spirit I picked up this book and it’s soon-to-be-published sequel, Grimm Memories, by Janna Jennings. I’m almost a quarter of the way into it and it’s definitely intriguing :)

peterpanannotated

And if I need something shorter to take a break with, I have this beautiful annotated edition of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to satisfy the classics-lover in me.

I’ll post updates later as I get more into my reading time. Honestly there’s still 16 hours left in the Read-a-Thon…plenty of time to get a lot of reading done!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Places I Want To Visit

toptentuesday

One of my favorite types of books to read are the ones where the setting becomes a character in the story. I just love flipping through a book that makes me want to walk through the setting and experience it all first-hand. Sometimes I end up not really caring for the book that much, but the setting can be presented in such a way that I don’t even care; just let me visit!

Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit:

London – Honestly, who hasn’t wanted to visit London because of a book they read or a movie they saw? London is the setting for so many stories over so many different time periods, the city itself has become timeless. I believe you can make London the setting for nearly any genre (except for maybe Westerns) and it would work. The book that made me want to visit London so badly was Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. She does a fantastic job making London an actual character that I could practically imagine myself walking around a city I’ve never visited. Can’t wait to actually go there one day!!

Bath

Bath – I’m just going to cut right to it. Jane Austen makes me want to visit Bath. Even though Jane hated living in Bath, her final two novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, are set there. I would love to visit this city and tour each of the areas Austen mentions in her novel. And then I would pretend to be Anne Elliot chasing down Captain Wentworth in front of The Royal Crescent ;)

New York City – I feel the same way about NYC that I do about London: it’s timeless. I love reading stories and watching movies that take place in the City. The one that’s popping up in my head at the moment is the movie You’ve Got Mail. We get to see all the seasons, but I love what Meg Ryan says: “Don’t you love New York in the fall?”

neverland

Neverland – I don’t know what I love most about Peter Pan’s Neverland: the waterfalls, the mermaid lagoon, the Lost Boys’s tree house… I would be totally content living there forever. Each time I visit Disneyworld/Disneyland I just want to ride Peter Pan’s Flight all day.

North Carolina – This is the current place Matt and I are looking to relocate to. Even though I visited multiple times when I was younger, the reason I want to live there now is because last Christmas I read at least 3 or 4 Nicholas Sparks novels. But hey! That state is gorgeous, whether you like Sparks novels or not (I happen to like them).

montana

The 1800s American West- Along with Nicholas Sparks novels I also have a soft spot for Historical Fiction novels that take place in the American West. I love everything about them & the west. When I was a sophomore in high school I visited Colorado for two weeks and fell in love. I’m trying to convince my husband to look for jobs there, but at least he’s on board with North Carolina ^

Omaha – Ok, I’ve never visited Omaha, or any other place in the Midwest, and I don’t really know what would be attractive about Nebraska, but the reason I want to visit is because of every single Rainbow Rowell novel. The way she talks about her city makes me want to go there and visit all of the places her characters have visited.

sherwood

Sherwood Forest & Nottingham – I have a huge literary crush on Robin Hood. Everyone who knows me in real life knows this. I want to marry Robin Hood, but even more than that I want to be him. Can’t you just see me walking down this pathway with Little John, singing “Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day!”?

Washington State – Okay, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit the reason why I’d like to visit Washington…it’s because of Twilight. I’m not a fan of the books, even though I went through that period freshman year of college, but I really did like the setting of the series. I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in a place where it rains nearly every day, but I would like to visit Washington and maybe go camping there.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island – This should come as no surprise to any of you who regularly read my blog. Anne Shirley’s beloved Prince Edward Island is the place I want to visit more than any other in the whole world. Every time I read or watching Anne of Green Gables I immediately imagine myself walking along next to Anne as she braves the Haunted Wood or strolls down Lover’s Lane and especially when her and Diana visit Miss Lavendar! *sigh* I’m hoping to finally visit next year. Each summer in Charlottetown they host “Anne of Green Gables–The Musical”, and I WANT TO SEE IT SO BADLY!!! Until then I’ll just keep the soundtrack on my playlist ;)

What are some places–fictional or real–that you have wanted to visit because of a specific book you read? Would you like to visit any of the places on my list?

Shakespeare in the Spring: Much Ado About Nothing

07. Craft, Kinuko Y. - Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
First Performed in 1599
Classic/Play
Format: e-book; 116 pages
Also From This Author: Romeo and JulietHamletMacbeth
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 5/5

Firstly, Happy Birthday William Shakespeare! I’m a few hours late but not by U.S. time ;)

I thought an appropriate way to celebrate would be to gush about how much I enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing, which I read for the first time last week :) After reading and posting about Macbeth, it was nice to dive into something much more light-hearted and uplifting.

Like several of Shakespeare’s comedies, Much Ado follows the trials and tribulations of two couples; Claudio and Hero, the sweet-tempered ones, and Benedick and Beatrice, the witty ones who always seem to be at odds with each other. Although there is one main conflict that seemed rather malicious, we automatically know that since it’s a comedy, we have no need to fear any worse case scenarios. Spoiler alert: there’s a happy ending.

The things I enjoyed the most about this play were Shakespeare’s quippy one-liners, of course, but also the characters, who very much reveled in teasing and playfully tricking one another. One of my favorite scenes was Act II Scene III, when Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato, knowing that Benedick is hiding nearby, create this elaborate lie that Beatrice is in love with him. Immediately afterwards, Hero, Margaret, and Ursula discuss the same lie while Beatrice is eavesdropping, and by the middle of the third act, our two witty rivals are smitten.

“Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as die with tickling.” Hero, Act III scene I
( I just loved the death by tickling line!)

There were several smile-inducing moments for me in Much Ado About Nothing. I’m a sucker for those Pride and Prejudice type romances, and I couldn’t find any flaws in Benedick and Beatrice as their relationship went from bitter rivals to loyal lovers. In other Shakespearean comedies, I feel that the romantic relationships are shallow; Benedick and Beatrice’s love felt much more plausible and long-lasting to me.

muchadofilmJoss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

I had been eagerly wanting to watch this recent film adaptation by Joss Whedon since it’s release in 2012, but of course I wanted to actually read the play first. The film itself is word-for-word Shakespearean dialogue so if you haven’t read Much Ado or you aren’t very familiar with the Shakespearean tongue, you may have some difficulties in following along. BUT, many of the actors do a phenomenal job of reeling you in, even if you don’t know what the heck is going on.

For starters, Nathan Fillion (from Firefly and Castle), plays the moronic Dogberry (essentially a detective/sheriff who thinks too highly of himself despite the fact that half the time he doesn’t even know what he’s saying) and he had me laughing out loud so often, especially during this little coat mix-up scene:

dogberrygif

Love the T-Rex arm!

He did a great job at portraying the pure ridiculousness of his character.

Another scene that really moved me was the almost-wedding scene, when Claudio outs Hero in front of all the guests as being unfaithful. All of the actors were very convincing, and I felt more saddened by that scene after watching the film than I had from simply reading the play.

Also, after finishing the movie I began listening to this song from the soundtrack on loop. The lyrics are all Shakespeare, but the tune is catchy and fun to sing along to :)

I haven’t seen Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing, but it is on my to be watched list. It features Emma Thompson so I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy it.

There you have it! Hope this post encouraged you to read Much Ado About Nothing! And if you have already read it, what did you most enjoy?

Shakespeare in the Spring: Macbeth

macbethMacbeth by William Shakespeare
First Performed in April 1611
Classic/Play
Format: e-book; 132 pages
Also From This Author: Romeo and JulietHamletMuch Ado About Nothing
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 3/5

If I could have, I would have avoided making my first “Shakespeare in the Spring” post about Macbeth, but I read it back in October (it’s perfect Halloween reading) and I never got around to writing my post about it.

So, why the avoidance?

I adore Shakespeare. I love quoting him, I love watching film adaptations of his plays, and I love talking about his works with bookworms and non-bookworms alike. However, there is one thing about Shakespeare that I don’t like: I do not like his Scottish Play, Macbeth.

Shakespeare’s tragedies are my favorites. In 8th grade we read both As You Like It and Hamlet. I did like As You Like It (we even took a field trip to see the play–my first!), but when we started Hamlet I fell in love. It had everything a “wanna-be gothic” pre-teenage girl could want to read (yes, embarrassingly enough, that is how I classify that epoque of my life). And since then, I have greatly admired Shakespeare’s tragedies. I love reading them and experiencing them all over again, except for Macbeth.

I’ve read Macbeth twice now and both times I’ve been unhappy about it. It’s not because of Shakespeare’s writing (his words and themes I actually did like), but I think it’s because of Macbeth and even more so, Lady Macbeth. Let me compare these two characters to another Shakespearean tragic hero: Hamlet. Despite the indecisive masochistic behavior of Hamlet, I still root for him. Even though his identity as a tragic hero means he’s doomed, I still want good things for him. I cannot say the same for Macbeth and his wife. I really wanted them to die the whole time. Well, maybe not Macbeth, but definitely his wife.

It’s wonderful that Shakespeare created such a strong and dominate female lead. I really did appreciate that she broke the model for a traditional female character. She was actually more of a male figure than Macbeth: she’s strong-willed, ambitious, and violent. However, I really viewed Lady Macbeth as more of a disease; after Macbeth hears from the weird sisters that he will be king, his wife immediately begins feeding him poisonous thoughts about power and it is she who provides Macbeth with the plot to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is barely able to summon enough “courage” (if you can call it courageous to kill your friend and king) to commit the murder, and it is Lady Macbeth who guiltlessly adds the finishing touches needed to successfully frame two of the king’s men.

This murder and great conflict occurs early on in the play in Act II, and in the remaining three acts we witness how the deepening guilt destroys Macbeth and his wife. For those who have read Macbeth, you know there are plenty of memorable themes going on. Obviously, don’t murder someone in order to take their place! The guilt will literally be the end of you. Hamlet taught that to us as well. I think my favorite theme from Macbeth, however, was that not everything is as it seems, or as Macbeth so eloquently puts it, “fair is foul, foul is fair.” What seems like a fortuitous future may actually bring us nothing but regret and guilt, our friends could end up being our enemies, and even those characters who would appear angelic and hospitable (such as Lady Macbeth) could actually be the most ruthless of them all.

I know that Macbeth  is one of Shakespeare’s most admired plays, and I understand why, but I have a question for those of you who love it: what do you find most enjoyable about it? Like I said, I’ve read it twice already and I don’t anticipate ever reading it again, but if anyone wants to take on the challenge of changing my mind about it, please try!

Shakespeare in the Spring

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April is National Poetry month (at least in the U.S.) and I think it’s the perfect month for it. Spring has arrived; the flowers are blooming and the birds are perched in trees cheerfully chirping. This season is just asking to be spent reading romantic poetry in a park, isn’t it?

Another reason April is the perfect month to be called Poetry Month is because it is the presumed month in which William Shakespeare was born (April 23rd also marks the anniversary of his death). Shakespeare was the author of my absolute favorite play, Hamlet, and I believe I also have him to thank for sparking my interest in poetry to begin with (Byron helped as well). Therefore, to celebrate Poetry Month as well as the life of the world’s most influential writer, I have decided to spend the next four weeks reading and blogging about the three Shakespearean plays I have on my Classics Club List. I like to combine reading challenges and events so I can cross books off of my TBR list :)

So check back later this week for my thoughts on Macbeth, but for now, tell me: What is your favorite Shakespearean work (be it play or sonnet)?

Happy Sunday!

Wuthering Heights Chapter XXVII-The End

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Published December 1847 by Thomas Cautley Newby
Classic/Romance
Format: Paperback; 308 pages
Also From This Author: Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 3/5

Before I finally post my last, lingering thoughts on Wuthering Heights, I feel like I need to say something about my month-long absence from blogging. January was a rather tough month for us in many ways, and I think the stress finally took its toll on me both physically and emotionally, so I basically “checked out” in February. My life revolved around working, watching the Olympics (Go Team U.S.A.! Yes, I am a huge Olympics fanatic), reading, and focusing on my responsibilities here in Grenoble. Also, I have been sick three times this month (guess that’s a side-effect of working with children). BUT, I am back and even though I am forcing myself to write and publish this last Wuthering Heights post, I am ready to dive back into the blogosphere with some exciting posts (such as my thoughts on Northanger Abbey, which I currently have my nose in, as well as a fun challenge I am giving myself for my birthday next week!).

wutheringheightsSo, let’s discuss how I felt about Wuthering Heights the second time around! But first, here are links to my previous posts:

Chapters I-IX
Chapters X-XVII
Chapters XVIII-XXVI

[Spoilers ahead, beware!]

This section starts off with one of the most suspenseful sections in the novel. Cathy, in her naivety and gentleness, is lured by Linton to Wuthering Heights, where Heathcliff essentially takes her prisoner. His intentions are obvious to the reader: he wants Cathy and Linton to become married. The worst part about this section is not the forced marriage, but the fact that Edgar Linton is on his deathbed and Cathy is afraid she will be unable to see him before he dies since Heathcliff refuses to let her leave.

“Mr. Heathcliff, you are a cruel man, but you’re not a fiend; and you won’t, from mere malice, destroy, irrevocably, all my happiness.”

Oh he would, but fortunately that doesn’t happen. Catherine is reunited with her father just before he dies, and finally Heathcliff becomes the master of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Shortly afterwards, Linton dies as well, which is a sad passage considering that Heathcliff’s neglect is mostly responsible. At this point Nelly’s narration ends as we have arrived at Mr. Lockwood’s arrival, and we dare to ask ourselves, “What’s next?” in Heathcliff’s schemes.

Mr. Lockwood now decides to leave Thrushcross Grange, and I honestly can’t blame him, but before he leaves he visits Wuthering Heights one last time and we can now reconcile the Heathcliff, Hareton, and Cathy that we met at the novel’s beginning with those of Nelly’s narration. We see how cruel Cathy has become towards her cousin Hareton, and even though I never stopped desiring a happy ending for Cathy, I did sympathize with Hareton a great deal. I felt that he and Linton were the two extremes of the same spectrum: both were abused and neglected by Heathcliff, both were unloved by their fathers, and both sought the attentions of young Cathy Linton, yet we find that Hareton had a much stronger spirit than Linton. I understand and sympathize with the fact that Linton was already a frail child before falling into Heathcliff’s clutches, where he was further abused and terrified, but the way he responds is not the same way that Hareton responds to his own sufferings. Linton, out of fear, does whatever his father asks of him, regardless of the consequences it has on others. Yet Hareton, who does obey Heathcliff for the most part, still has his own desires that ultimately control his destiny.

Now, for the long-awaited happy ending! After several months, Mr. Lockwood returns to Wuthering Heights where we find that Heathcliff has died (and is unsurprisingly mourned by no one). Yet, before he died, his behavior changed a great deal, and he let go of his desires to continue his revenge on Cathy and Hareton. We have Catherine Earnshaw Linton to thank for this: that morbid grave exhumation scene in Chapter 29 now seems to have a greater purpose than to further elaborate Heathcliff’s twistedness. The final chapters of the novel show a much pleasanter scene at Wuthering Heights: Cathy and Hareton, once at odds, are able to forgive and forget and move on (finally someone is able to!), and Nelly confesses to Mr. Lockwood that the two will soon be married (this even elicited a silent “aww” from me).

My second time reading this novel produced some interesting reactions. My hatred for Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw grew deeper, yet I was finally able to see an actual happy ending for two characters I ended up “rooting for” this time around. Honestly, I don’t think I will attempt to read this novel again for another 10 years, but I was glad to see that some people who were reading along with me actually enjoyed it! That is refreshing.

For those who have read Wuthering Heights, what were your final thoughts on the novel? Do you think it deserves to be canonized? What was the biggest take-away for you? (For me it was to forgive and forget! Honestly, all of that bitterness and thirst for revenge seemed so exhausting)

Wuthering Heights Chapters XVIII-XXVI

wutheringheightsWeekly Schedule
Chapters I-IX
Chapters X-XVII

[Spoilers for Chapters 18-26 of Wuthering Heights]

Today was gloomy and drizzly, perfect Wuthering Heights weather, and I spent a few hours this afternoon powering through this week’s chapters. Even though there was significantly less drama, we were introduced to two “new” characters, one of which I actually like! Even though Mr. Lockwood meets Cathy Linton when he first visits Wuthering Heights, we don’t immediately find out much about her, except that she’s Heathcliff’s daughter-in-law. Our section this week picks up 12 years after the deaths of Catherine Earnshaw-Linton and Hindley Earnshaw. Nelly right away describes that those were the happiest 12 years of her life, and why would that be? Because Heathcliff is absent! It was nice for me as well, I must say. But besides that, Nelly is also the nanny to little Cathy Linton, whom I really like, despite the fact that she doesn’t listen to Nelly or her Father when they tell her to stay away from Wuthering Heights (but who can blame her, honestly, when she’s forbidden from visiting without really knowing why?). She’s still a good-natured and good-tempered girl (at least compared to her mother).

Nelly narrates the happenings of the next 5 years, up until Cathy is 17 years old (which we learn was a little more than a year before Mr. Lockwood’s arrival). For the most part, Cathy’s life is rather uneventful, that is until her Aunt Isabella dies and Edgar brings home his nephew Linton Heathcliff to stay with them. Cathy is right away enraptured–she immediately loves her cousin and can hardly wait to become best friends with him. Unfortunately, nothing good lasts in this story, and Heathcliff sends Joseph (ugh) to–and I’m basically paraphrasing it here–fetch back his property to Wuthering Heights. Now, young Linton is a sickly boy with a fair complexion and a rather weak-spirit. He resembles his father in no way whatsoever, so right away we know that things are not going to end well for Linton.

Cathy, of course, is heartbroken, but she continues on her life until a few years later when her and Nelly run into Heathcliff not far from Wuthering Heights, and he tricks persuades Cathy to come visit. Nelly, essentially powerless at this point, tries desperately to dissuade Cathy, because she knows that Heathcliff is up to no good. But once Cathy is reunited with Linton the damage is done, and unfortunately for everyone involved (including us readers), Heathcliff now has power over Cathy as well, and his vengeful plan is now all set to snowball into an avalanche and ruin everyone’s lives–*breathes*–ok, it’s clearly obvious I hate Heathcliff.

Heathcliff effortlessly persuades Cathy and Linton into falling in love, but I’m guessing that, based on all of the other romantic relationships here, it is NOT going to end happily-ever-after. My guess is that Linton is going to succumb to his illness in a matter of pages and Cathy (who may actually love him, who knows? At least she’s nice to him) will turn into the apathetic Cathy we met at the beginning of the novel.

My favorite part of this section was finally seeing a child actually being loved and cared for. Edgar, despite his cruelty towards Heathcliff during their adolescence, is actually a doting father who loves and admires his spirited daughter. Nelly is also a loving and practical nurse who does not treat Cathy wrongly, but who really wishes her to be safe and happy. Cathy turns out to be a thoughtful and agreeable young lady, her only faults being that she’s overly curious and likes to run off to tend to her sick cousin and then lie about where she’s been. In her we can see a kind heart.

I have completely forgotten how this novel ends, but right now I’m earnestly hoping that Cathy gets some type of happy ending. I think it’ll be the only thing that can redeem this novel for me.

For those reading along with me: how do you feel about Cathy Linton and Linton Heathcliff, both as individual characters and as a romantic pair? Do you agree with Cathy’s statement that her and Linton would never quarrel after they were married and used to each other (Ch. 23)?

Post your thoughts in the comments, or share the link to your own blog post :)

Wuthering Heights Chapters X-XVII

wutheringheightsI apologize for not posting this much earlier in the week. The past five days have been rather taxing on me, both mentally and emotionally, and I have been trying to keep up with all of my responsibilities as best as I can. Heureusement (as the French say), the only thing I didn’t manage to complete this week was my Wuthering Heights post, but here it is now!

[Spoilers for the first half of Wuthering Heights]

I was really immersed in this week’s chapters for some reason, and I even stayed up rather late on Saturday reading through the end of Chapter 17. For those of you who are reading along with me, or if you are very familiar with Wuthering Heights, you may be asking, “What did you find so enjoyable about all of that?” And I will borrow the words of Cleo at Classical Carousel and say that the drama in this novel is very much like a car wreck you cannot look away from.

Nelly Dean’s story continues with Heathcliff’s return. She discloses that she does not know how he spent those three years away, nor how he made his wealth, but one thing is for sure: Heathcliff and Catherine are still infatuated with each other, and they seem to take some type of sadistic pleasure in how their outwardly affections distress Catherine’s husband, Edgar.

Heathcliff, who seems to have become a gentleman in his absence, begins spending a good amount of time with Catherine and her sister-in-law, Isabella Linton. Isabella–poor, naive Isabella. Don’t we all just pity her? Blindly, she “falls in love” with Heathcliff, and is then harshly teased about it by Catherine and even Heathcliff himself (but does this change Isabella’s heart? Nope. She runs off and marries Heathcliff later on…). That teasing scene is probably my least favorite involving Catherine Linton. The only thing more cruelly selfish than exposing Isabella like that is when she maliciously decides to break her own heart in order to break Edgar and Heathcliff’s hearts. Honestly, what does Edgar see in her? Heathcliff’s obsession with her is more understandable, but why, Edgar? Why? This comic from Hark! A Vagrant sums it up perfectly:

Catherine

And Heathcliff is just as violent as Catherine, although he has the “tortured Byronic hero” thing going for him (but I have yet to discover any redeeming qualities about him–are there any?). It is clear during this entire section of the novel that Heathcliff has developed a consuming desire for revenge. All of his actions are governed by the same thought: “How can this hurt those who have hurt me?” And he doesn’t just want to hurt his former oppressors once; no, he wants to control everything about them, basically putting them in the place that adolescent Heathcliff was forced in by Hindley. This is why he marries Isabella, so he can become Edgar’s heir, and it’s clearly why he wants guardianship of Hareton. He says so himself at the end of Chapter 17, when Nelly comes to collect Hareton back to Thrushcross Grange:

“Now, my bonny lad, you are mine! And we’ll see if one tree won’t grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!” (172)

Heathcliff

Nelly, who views Heathcliff as a nightmare, described his presence perfectly back in Chapter 10:

“His visits were a continual nightmare to me; and, I suspected, to my master also. His abode at the Heights was an oppression past explaining. I felt that God had forsaken the stray sheep there to its own wicked wanderings, and an evil beast prowled between it and the fold, waiting his time to spring and destroy” (98)

‘Evil Beast’ and ‘Heathcliff’ are names I should use interchangeably from now on.

So, by the end of Chapter 17 Heathcliff has returned for a year, and in that time he ran off and eloped with Isabella, whom he then tormented until she finally flees, he fights with Edgar, which causes Catherine to became ill and later die during childbirth, and if that’s not enough, it also appears that Heathcliff is responsible for Hindley finally drinking himself to death sooner rather than later.

But this section isn’t all bad. Heathcliff speaks some of those heart-wrenching romantic lines I enjoy for some reason, like when he discloses to Nelly that he would never have harmed Edgar or “touched a single hair of his head” (136) because it would cause Catherine to suffer. Although Heathcliff would have killed Edgar the moment Catherine stopped caring for him, the fact is that Edgar physically assaulted Heathcliff, and not the other way around. Maybe this is supposed to convince us that Heathcliff genuinely and selflessly loves Catherine? I’m not going to agree with that until I finish this novel–nothing is for certain at this point except that Heathcliff is still seeking revenge!

What do you think of Heathcliff’s revenge thus far? Do you sympathize with him or do you want to chuck your book at his head? And whose story is the saddest so far: Hindley’s, Isabella’s, Edgar’s, or Catherine & Heathcliff’s?

[Also, if your edition does not include a translation for Joseph’s speeches (which I’ve stopped trying to decipher on my own), this is a great site to refer to: http://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/josephs-speech.php It also has a lot of other interesting resources to check out.]