Top 10 Characters at my Lunch Table

You Can't Sit with Us! | The Top 10 Literary Characters at my Lunch Table | The 1000th Voice Blog

Well, these ten fictional and nonfictional characters can always join my lunch table.

Laura Ingalls Wilder & Rose Wilder Lane, from The Little House series & Others

The dynamic between this mother-daughter literary duo would be fascinating to see in person, but each of them separately would also be great lunch table guests. Of course, in addition to my literary characters lunch, these two would make appearances on my authors table as well.

Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter Series

Hermione is intelligent, well read and all around fascinating. Her stories of life as a Muggle at Hogwarts would fascinate the lunch table to no end.

Anne Frank, from The Diary of Anne Frank and Tales from the Secret Annex

Throughout her experience in hiding, Anne grew and developed a deep understanding of the human condition. Her contribution to lunchtime conversation would be astounding.

Winn Van Meter, from Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Winn Van Meter turns out to be the token male at the table. His pompous, self-righteous attitude would, honestly, be most unwelcome, but all-together fascinating.

Mamah Borthwick Cheney, from Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

I definitely do not agree with Mamah’s decisions, but her education, desires and impact on women’s rights can’t be understated. For that, she makes a great addition to the table.

Jane Eyre, from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane’s headstrong ways and willingness to live on her own terms would fit nicely with the others at the table.

Rachel Kalama, from Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

Despite a devastating diagnosis with leprosy, Rachel learns to truly live life to the fullest. Her communicable disease wouldn’t be welcome at the table.

Irene Beltrán, from Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende

Irene is typical of Allende’s strong, female characters. As a journalist during a revolution, she has to have fascinating stories for us.

Anne Shirley, from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

And, why not, Anne. Grown up Anne would be an excellent addition.

Who would join you at your table?

26f46-toptentuesday

**Linked up with The Broke and the Bookish**

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Most Interesting Authors of 2013

As 2013 becomes just a faint memory, here are some authors who made 2013 more interesting for readers. They may be curmudgeons, partial recluses and potentially very confusing to us, but they’re our authors and we love them (most of them) anyway!

Jonathan Franzen

Most Interesting Authors of 2013 | Jonathan Franzen | The 1000th Voice blog

Image via Macmillan

Because, why not? Franzen made a splash reminding us all that he’s the resident literary curmudgeon with his dislike (and to some extent lack of understanding of) Twitter and social media in general. But, because he’s Franzen, this was literary news for months, giving those of us interested in books and members of “literary Twitter” something to talk about.

J.K. Rowling

Most Interesting Authors of 2013 | JK Rowling | The 1000th Voice blog

Image via JK Rowling’s Official Site

Of course, right? When Rowling was unmasked (unpenned?) as Robert Galbraith the author of unsuccessful detective novel The Cuckoo’s Calling we were all given yet another thing to talk about. And, quite possibly another reason to love Rowling, who wanted to try out something new and not rely on name recognition to sell the book. Recently, her lawyer was fined for breaking her confidentiality.

Meg Wolitzer

Most Interesting Literary Figures of 2013 | Meg Wolitzer | The 1000th Voice blog
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Meg Wolitzer used her book tour for The Interestings as a platform to discuss the publishing industry’s alarming choices for the covers of all books written by women, regardless of topic. This was most famously covered in a Salon interview.

Jennifer Weiner

Most Interesting Literary Figures of 2013 | Jennifer Weiner | The 1000th Voice blogImage via the New Yorker

Obviously you know how I feel about Weiner’s escapades. While the New Yorker piece was published in January, Weiner made quite a splash throughout the entire year–most notably taking the New York Times Book Review to task for not featuring “chick lit” review.

What author did you find most interesting this year? Did I miss someone you think should be on the list? Let me know!

Twitterature: October 2013 Edition

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature is her fun way to share quick, little reviews of books read recently.
I hope you enjoy these; I’ll follow up later with longer book review posts.

I’ve had so much fun participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature the last two months that I decided to do it again! I’ve only read two books since the last link up, so I’m sharing reviews of two books I reviewed earlier on the blog in Twitter’s signature brief form. Links to the full review are at the bottom. Also, I will be writing a complete review of Dracula tomorrow.

Beautiful Ruins
By Jess Walter

 Gorgeous words, scenes and characters. #MustRead #LitFic

Dracula
By Bram Stoker

 Dark. Rich. Suspense. #MustRead #TheOV (Original Vamp!)

The Glass Castle (audiobook)
By Jeannette Walls

 You think your childhood was bad? Walls has ya’ll beat! #Memoir

The Casual Vacancy
By J.K. Rowling

 Character study of the inner workings of small village. #LitFic #MustRead

Ape House
By Sara Gruen

A wonderful statement about ethical treatment of animals. #GreatWriting

The Glass Castle | The Casual Vacancy | Ape House

**I’m linking this up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.**

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacany by J.K. Rowling | A book review at The 1000th VoiceThe Casual Vacancy
By J.K. Rowling

In the absence of an Irish author, I decided to review a British author because there’s nothing quite like honoring one country’s heritage like honoring their oppressor for hundreds of years. I kid. Moving on…

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | A book review at The 1000th VoiceAs a Harry Potter fan and literary fiction snob (OK, I do read and enjoy some genre books–Harry Potter and more), I knew I had to read The Casual Vacancy even though it was being panned by many critics. I don’t know how many warnings Rowling and her team had to give to the media that this wasn’t Harry Potter for adults, but apparently there weren’t enough because plenty of reviews hinted at a certain amount of confusion at the lack of robes and wands. This is very funny to me because the notoriously private Rowling did a ton of press before the book was published; people should have known what to expect, and if they didn’t believe her, it’s on them.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | A book review by The 1000th Voice

Review

I suppose I can understand why some people don’t enjoy large literary fiction tomes, but, really, everyone should love this book. The Casual Vacancy is an intriguing character study of the prominent and notorious citizens of a small but proud British village. (Is it redundant to describe a British village as small and proud?) Rowling thrusts her readers into the lives of Pagford’s citizens, including the so-called First Citizen down to the widely-regarded lowest citizen.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | A review by The 1000th Voice

I will admit that as I approached page 100 I was still confused by who the characters were, how they related to each other, and, most importantly, who hated whom. After contemplating the usefulness of a pictorial guide to Pagford’s alliances (my version would be lovely with hand drawn images of how I pictured the characters, solid lines and dotted lines in varying shades of red and blue to indicate dislike and like, but I can’t draw), I realized that the confusion about who the people are and who they dislike can be likened to the confusion a new small-town citizen would feel if they were learning about their new surroundings by bits and pieces through gossip, which, let’s face it, is how it always happens.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | A book review by The 1000th Voice

With just one seemingly simple sentence, Rowling is able to cut right to the core of her characters and reveal who they truly are, warts and all. And, let me tell you, there were truly plenty of warts in this small town. “Christians” who were more concerned about appearing to be Christians than by acting like Christians, pretensions, addictions, they’re all here in some form.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | A book review by The 1000th Voice

Through the story she tells, it’s obvious that Rowling understands small towns, but, more than that, she understands people and she understands their motives. Small towns just allow people’s best and worst characteristics to be more obvious to others, so the setting helped Rowling tell the story.

Rating

Writing 4.5 out of 5 stars
There were some points in the book where I didn’t think the writing was as strong as it could be, where transitions maybe didn’t occur in the best spots, but overall, Rowling’s writing was solid. As I said earlier, she really can get to the core of someone’s motivations with just a few words. That takes well-developed skill.

Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars
While some people will, of course, disagree with my rating of storytelling, I stand behind it. There is a story here; the narrative does build to something. It just may not be what everyone wants, and it doesn’t have the big climax that genre readers are accustomed to.

Character Development 5 out of 5 stars
My high rating for character development really ties into the high rating I gave for writing. This is, after all, a character study, so the strong writing, naturally, resulted in strong character development.

Plot Structure 4 out of 5 stars
There is absolutely a plot here, but it isn’t really strong, and it flips from between the different character’s perspectives of current events and then a flashback pops up. It really works to tell the story, but it does seem confusing.

Cultural Impact 3 out of 5 stars
There’s no doubt that this won’t have the cultural impact that Harry Potter did. No book probably ever will, but, being by the same author, I believe it will have a lasting impact. After all, the story has already been optioned by the BBC for a miniseries.

Total 4.3 out of 5 stars

Have you read The Casual Vacancy? What did you think?

It’s Monday! What I’m Reading!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Check out my previous Monday reading posts here.

Last week was a really good week for me, but I’m still enjoying this

The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling

This book has been really good so far. No magic, but I was completely prepared for that!

Have you read The Casual Vacancy yet? Did you enjoy it? Do you have an exciting reading week ahead of you?

To read more of my thoughts, follow me on Twitter. For more book reviews, books I’ve read and books I want to read, find me on Goodreads. And of course, don’t forget to check out my Pinterest to see all the craft and home decor projects I’ll probably never do and some cool book and social media pins.

It’s Monday! What I’m reading!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Check out my previous Monday reading posts here.

This is a really exciting reading week for me! I don’t know that I’ll get more time than usual to read, and if today is any indication, I’ll want to crawl into bed by 8:00. But, I’m very excited to finally start reading

I can’t wait to be able to dig into this. My wonderful sister-in-law bought this book for me in our Christmas exchange. She was a little worried that it wouldn’t be a good choice, but she couldn’t have picked out a better book for me!

Have you read The Casual Vacancy yet? Did you enjoy it? Do you have an exciting reading week ahead of you?

To read more of my thoughts, follow me on Twitter. For more book reviews, books I’ve read and books I want to read, find me on Goodreads. And of course, don’t forget to check out my Pinterest to see all the craft and home decor projects I’ll probably never do and some cool book and social media pins.