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About Brook

  • Birthday 07/21/1981

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  • Reading now?
    The Quarry Wood by Nan Shepherd
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    Stories in their many different forms - novels, short stories, fairy tales, myths and legends, films and plays. Swimming. Beautiful, wild places.

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  1. Daphne Du Maurier's short story "Don't Look Now" is brilliant.
  2. I just realised this post was in the young adults section. The above doesn't really fit -sorry.
  3. Have you read The Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys? It's inspired by Charlotte Bronte's Jayne Eyre – it is the story of Mrs Rochester before she came to England from Jamaica and became the mad woman in the attic. It has two points of view. Parts one and three are from her point of view, and the second part is from Mr Rochester’s point of view. In giving Antoinette the voice that she didn’t have in Jayne Eyre (and by setting it alongside Rochester’s very different voice), I think Jean Rhys created one of the most powerful and spellbinding stories in twentieth century fiction. It is one of my favourite books.
  4. I used to live in Yorkshire - the Brontes' parsonage in Haworth is a wonderful place to visit. Although, I think I felt closer to Emily and her characters when I was roaming on the moors. Enjoy Listowel. I haven't been to the Dickens museum but I'd like to one day. Maybe when I've read more Dickens. I've read The Old Curiosity Shop and Great Expectations and I loved them both.
  5. Once I have underlined my favourite passages a book really feels like my own special copy - no longer a mass produced paperback, but something unique. I like it when I get a book from a second hand book shop or a library and there are highlights and notes all over it. It's nice to wonder about the person who owned it before and why the bits they highlighted were important to them.
  6. I agree with some of the comments about the ending. It felt contrived to me and jarred with the way the rest of the book was written. I kind of enjoyed it until then. I'd really like to read it again one day or see the film, to see if I feel the same way about it knowing the ending in advance.
  7. I recently listened to the audio version of The Ode Less Travelled with Fry reading his own words: absolutely brilliant – I felt like it opened up world of possibilities. I read Writing Metrical Poetry by William Baer a few years ago and it gave me a similar feeling, although perhaps following on from Fry’s book it may not seem to have as much wit or passion, but I still recommend it. I had never written poetry before I read that – I think because I lacked confidence. From Baer’s book I gained lots of confidence from understanding metre and how to control the form and shape of poetry, and I wrote quite a lot of my own after that.
  8. Thanks for reminding me about her nature writing Chesilbeach - I've been meaning to read some for ages as I have only read her poetry so far. I will get hold of one of the above soon.
  9. I try to memorise my favourite poems. If I feel sad, bored, confused, lonely, or intensely happy, even if I am away from home and my book collection, I can say them to myself. Anything material could be lost or destroyed, but once you have memorised a poem, it is yours to keep and carry with you for the rest of your life - and nothing can touch that. A wonderful secret treasure.
  10. Good luck with your reading, NancyD; I am only four chapters in but determined to finish it this time (after a failed attempt in my teens) since being inspired by the Nussbaum chapter. I agree with you about the supports: I exchanged my old simple battered edition for a new annotated student edition with loads of notes, which has proved a big help already. I am also delighting in the power of his language to create visual and auditory sensations, and I hope that, like you, I will enjoy it even more the deeper I go in.
  11. I think Kathleen Jamie’s poetry is beautiful and she's probably my favourite poet at the moment. My favourites are the Wishing Tree (from The Tree House, 2004) and The Overhaul (from The Overhaul, 2012). She is preoccupied with how we relate to the natural world. The poems are hopeful and tender, although alert to threat and shadow. Here's a link to the Wishing Tree: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19557
  12. It's a brilliant story. I love the strange mix of dark humour and pathos. There is another thread about this story on the Classics section of this forum. http://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/10833-metamorphosis/
  13. These are some of my favourite short stories. It’s quite a long list but I love short stories – I think the form is a unique art, different from the novel, not just shorter. To me the following are all beautiful, full of pathos and emotional resonance. They are unforgettable, and I will return to them again and again throughout my life: Miss Brill, by Katherine Mansfield; American Horse, by Louise Erdritch; If you Sing Like that for Me, by Akhil Harma; A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett; To Room Nineteen by Doris Lessing; House Opposite, by R K Narayan; I Stand Here Ironing, by Tillie Olsen; The Chrysanthemums, by John Steinbeck; The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy; Everyday Use, by Alice Walker; Disappearing, by Monica Wood; The Rocking Horse by D.H. Lawrence; About Love, and The Lady with the Little Dog by Anton Chekhov; The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogal; He’s at the Office, by Allan Gurganus; Everything Stuck to Him, by Raymond Carver. I have many more favourites by the above authors. I also enjoy Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.
  14. I didn't realise what a brilliant writer Stephen King was until last year when I read the Shining (my first Stephen King novel). Thanks for this post Michelle - I'll be waiting impatiently for the sequel. In the meantime there are so many of his books to keep me going! - I'm going for The Stand next, I think.
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