All sorts of bookish adventures!

Category Archives: Challenge

I am participating in Dewey’s Readathon again! On this post, you will find my reading updates. These will be posted every three hours (5, 8, and 11 a.m.; 2, 5, 8, and 11 p.m; and 2 and 5 a.m.). Please feel free to check back here on my progress! Also, I’d love to interact with you…so please leave comments or send me a tweet @borkadventures!

Update #6: 11:00 p.m.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Reading: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Page: 78

Hours Read: 18

Pages Read: 818

Books Read: 2

Mood: I’m so tired now! My eyes are droopy. I might pass out holding my book.

Reading Reflections: I want to keep going. I really do love the Guide, I’m just so tired!

Update #5: 8:00 p.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 313

Hours Read: 15

Pages Read: 681

Books Read: 1

Mood: I’m still going strong! I’m making a pot of coffee now, and I think I’ll start drinking wine around 3:00 a.m. to bring myself down for eventual bedtime. That’s my new strategy. It’s so weird how quickly the day goes by when you’re readathoning. I can’t believe it’s already 8:00 p.m. when it feels like it was just a.m. and I was checking in here with the first update.

Reading Reflections: I’m still not done, but I am still loving it, and I will definitely be finished with it by my next update. Then, I shall be reading Lamb!

Update #4: 5:00 p.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 203

Hours Read: 12

Pages Read: 571

Books Read: 1

Mood: I’m not sleepy anymore, thanks to the Red Bull! But, for some odd reason, I’m craving a cheeseburger! I had a healthy dinner planned, but all I want is a cheeseburger! So, I shall have it! I think my husband is getting it for me right now.

Reading Reflections: This book is taking up so much readathon time, but that is fine! Because it is so worth it to spend the whole time with a good book than reading a bunch of mediocre books. However, I do believe that all of my planned books are probably excellent. I might not get to the Wilder book, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get to Lamb and Hitchhiker’s Guide. <crossing fingers>

Update #3: 2:00 p.m. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 90

Hours Read: 9

Pages Read: 458

Books Read: 1

Mood: I am not so energized. I have been considering a nap. But, I’m resisting. I’m drinking a red bull instead. I know it’s a teenager drink, but it’s my Comic-Con beverage of choice, and it seemed to go so well with this book that I bought one. Hopefully, it will boost me up!

Reading Reflections: So, seriously, this book seems to have been written for me. Or, probably every other person alive in the ’80s with some sort of geek leaning. Even Patrick Rothfuss said (on the back of the book) “I felt like it was written for me.” So, apparently Cline should’ve dedicated his book to all of us.

I am loving this book so much! I am going slow (and probably even slower now that I’m getting sleepy) because I am just soaking everything up. I love all of the references, I love the descriptions of OASIS, and I love how I feel like I’m on an adventure. This is a blast.

Update #2: 11:00 a.m.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Reading: Ready Player One

On Page: 4

Hours Read: 6

Pages Read: 372

Books Read: 1

Mood: Still very energized! I am working on a snack right now–celery, broccoli, and garlic hummus, along with my second Arnold Palmer (so refreshing!). I have also switched my wardrobe into “geeky-work mode”–reading glasses(my eyes started getting fuzzy around hour 2), my “STEPHEN KING RULES” shirt, and my Lost Boys-Frog brothers red headband. This shit just got real!

Jesse (the husband) has been delightfully distracting, which I think has actually helped with keeping me up. He is now banished to a day outside, so I probably won’t be distracted again until the wee hours when he gets home from his self-imposed Dude-Day hangout. He’s a good guy.

Reading Reflections: The Secret Garden was absolutely wonderful, and I wish I had read it on Monday when I was in such a self-doubting mood. It would definitely serve as a panacea to any funk like the one I suffered from this week! I took copious notes, so I should have no problem writing a review on it this week.

From the measly four pages that I’ve read of Ready Player One I can tell that I am going to love it! I only wish I had Wil Wheaton reading it to me (he is the reader of the audiobook). That would be absolutely perfect–whoever came up with that idea was a genius.

Update #1: 8:00 a.m.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reading: The Secret Garden

On Page: 217

Hours Read: 3

Pages Read: 217

Mood: Wonderful! I am eating my breakfast now–asparagus frittata and toast with an Arnold Palmer. This book has me in a lovely, magical mood. I am inspired to start working in my garden again!

Reading Reflections: Burnett is a delightful writer–her characters are true and alive, and the scenery is magical. Plus, I finally learned what “wuthering” means (as in Wuthering Heights)–“the hollow, shuddering sort of roar which rushed around and around the house”. Am a little over half-done, so I should be finished by the time I check in here again!

5:00 a.m. (Start):

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reading: The Secret Garden

On Page: 0

Hours Read: 0

Pages Read: 0

Mood: We’re too excited to sleep!

Man! I woke up 30 minutes earlier than I had to. And I was wide awake.

But, here we go! I’ve got my cup of coffee, loads of fruit on the coffee table, post-its and pens at my side, ready to roll! I’m pretty groggy, but so very excited! I’ve been wanting to read The Secret Garden ever since I saw the Hallmark movie when I was a kid (the one that starred Bastian from The Neverending Story as the weird nature boy). I know I’m going to love it!

I will update twitter regularly, so feel free to follow me @borkadventures, or check back here to see my twitter feed in the right margin. I will also try to complete some of the mini-challenges today and will check in here on this post with updates on my reading (every 3 hours). Wish me luck! And good luck to all of the other participants–(Go Kyle, Jillian, Jessica, SJ, and Priya!)

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Hour 1 – Good morning! (Or afternoon! Or evening!)

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading in San Diego, California!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
All of them–I’m reading a bunch of books I’ve always wanted to read but never have. Perhaps, Ready Player One, just because I have sought it out all year!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Roseberry Dark Chocolate from Dagoba
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Along with reading, I enjoy Muay Thai kickboxing. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever done in my entire life.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I participated in the last readathon, and I didn’t know many people back in October. Now, a bunch of my new friends are participating, so this time, I will be more social during the readathon!

I’ll probably be about as tweaked out as Jessie come 3:00 a.m. tomorrow night. But, I’m so excited!

Amidst all of my brooding and cleaning and task-completing (and Angel-watching), I have been quietly anticipating this weekend’s readathon. I can’t wait!

I had such a good time in the fall when I participated in Dewey’s Readathon that I’ve been counting the months until the next one. Even my family and friends have been checking in on it–“When’s your next readathon?” It’s here friends and family! Tomorrow!

For me, the readathon is a major event. It’s a pretty big deal. Preparing for this month’s readathon has been a major part of this week’s tasks. I have to make sure that I’m prepared for a wonderful experience. Here are the (lucky) seven necessities for my perfect readathon experience:

1. Pre-selected Books of Different Genres

2. Ready and/or Easily Prepared Food and Beverages

3. Comfy Clothes

4. Ambience

5. Writing Tools

6. A Strategy for Success

7. Check-ins with My Reading Pals

1. The Books

This week, I set about obtaining all of my books for tomorrow. I am going to set aside the seven (seven!) books I am currently reading to start anew tomorrow. My plan is to read five books, all new to me, that are highly recommended by five of my blogging buddies.

Here are the five books I will read tomorrow, with the recommending blogger listed and how the book was obtained.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (Suzy of Insatiable Booksluts); checked out from the library

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (SJ of Snobbery); owned for years.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Amy of Lucy’s Football, Insatiable Booksluts, and The Loser’s Table); purchased from Amazon

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Kyle of A Reader’s Pensieve); checked out from the library

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Jillian of A Room of One’s Own); purchased from the bookstore at the Huntington Library

2. Food and Beverages

Last time, I really didn’t care about eating healthy. I was bad! I ordered a pizza for the weekend, and that’s about all that I consumed. I’m currently trying to eat better, and I’m not going to use a readathon as an excuse to eat junk. Here’s my food for Saturday:

Arnold Palmer and books• Coffee for the morning and evening (around 7 or 8 p.m.)

• Green tea and lemonade (Arnold Palmers)

• Water (must stay hydrated for such strenuous activity!)

• Asparagus Frittata and toast for breakfast

• Mangoes and watermelon for snacks

• Soup and roast beef sandwich for lunch

• Dagoba dark chocolate bar for my sweet tooth : )

• Curried pork over basmati rice and peas (made in the Crock Pot the night before) for dinner

• I might cave to an ice cream craving around hour 20 if need be : )

3. Comfy Clothes

Yes, I do have a reading wardrobe! I have special cozy sweaters, yoga pants, and fluffy socks for the occasion. Plus, I have my secret reading weapon–my blue robe, with large pockets perfect for holding pens and post-its. I kinda wish I had a super-cool tee-shirt to wear under it, like maybe one with a dodisharkicorn on it or some reading statement like this:

One of the many awesome tees from the shop at Insatiable Booksluts

I guess that I’ll make do with my “Book Wyrm” tee.

4. Ambience

I love my husband so very, very much. He is so supportive of me and my hobbies, which are so very different from his. With that said, he’d better find something to do tomorrow night because I need my quiet time!

He works during the day tomorrow, and then he’s, of course, welcome to join me in reading. Stranger things have happened. We will have to discuss a plan. I will probably owe him a camping trip or a visit to the archery range or something for this. Maybe I could do a movie night where all we do is watch Jean-Claude Van Damme movies or Mythbusters. We have a system for these sorts of situations, so I will indulge him in some way for his sacrifice tomorrow.

5. Writing Tools

Writing ToolsTo be successful, I shall need:

• An internet connection

• My computer

• My IPad

• Pilot G-2 gel pens

• A steady supply of post-its (if you don’t want to forget what you thought of a readathoned-book, I highly suggest jotting down notes on post-its as you read tomorrow!)

6. A Strategy for Success

Like last time, my goal for the readathon is to read for the full 24 hours. I had a pretty good strategy last time, so I’m going to follow it almost to a T.

• Tonight: Draft my Readathon Update post and my Readathon Mini-Challenge post.

• 4:30 a.m. Wake up and get prepared. Drink some coffee and check in with my readathon buddies.

• 5:00 a.m. Get started reading right away. My first book will be The Secret Garden, a children’s book that should be easy on my groggy eyes and mind.

• Every hour: update my reading progress on Goodreads. This will automatically update to Twitter.

• Every three hours:

– Compose an update post here on the blog. This will contain reflections on my mood, the book I’m reading, the total number of pages read, and the total number of hours read.

– Check in on the Readathon mini-challenges to see if there are any I’d like to take part in. If so, I will complete the challenges on the Mini-Challenges post.

– Prepare a meal, snack, or drink.

• Read according to my perceived stamina. Here is the probable order of my reading choices based upon my stamina from the last readathon:

1. The Secret Garden (light and easy for when I’m groggy)

2. Ready Player One (I’m always at the top of my game from 8 until noon)

3. Lamb (Around book three, I might be dragging a bit, so humor will help me wake up)

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide (Same as 3, plus it is supposed to be a quick, fun read)

5. Little House in the Big Woods (An easy children’s book, which should be perfect when my mind is mush in the wee hours. I will have the brain of a child around 2 in the morning!)

7. Check-Ins with My Reading Pals

I know of at least three of my buddies who are also participating in the Readathon–Jillian, Kyle, and Jessica. If you’re reading this and participating, please let me know because I’d love to add you to my list of people to interact with tomorrow!

I like to think of the readathon as a big sleepover for book dorks. Remember when you were a kid and you went to sleepovers? Remember how hard you and your friend(s) tried to stay up all night? That’s what I expect to be doing with my reading buddies tomorrow. We’ll all be comfy, we’ll all have snacks and goodies, and we’ll all be reading together (did you ever have sleepovers like this? I did!). Let’s support each other and just have a good time! There aren’t many opportunities like this as grown-ups. We get married, have kids, get caught up in being adults, and lose sight of how much fun it is to just stay up all night hanging out with friends. Granted, I’m a very nostalgic, immature adult, but I think this is a good thing! Let’s have fun!

Meanwhile, my buddies who aren’t participating in the readathon, I might check in with you too! And maybe you should consider signing up! It’s still not too late, and you don’t have to go for the full 24 hours!


I’ve been reading a lot (yay!), meeting fellow bloggers (Suzy of the Insatiable Booksluts, double-yay!), and not writing much (boo!). But, I will be writing a whole lot more, starting at noon today, as that is the beginning of my Spring Break (hooray! hooray! hooray!). So, here are a couple of things that I need to put out there until my break starts…

Bloggiesta

First, I want to proclaim that I will be participating in Bloggiesta this weekend. Bloggiesta is a blogging event in which participants vow to set aside time to work on all things blog-related. I’m not sure how big of a participant I will be, but I do need to get some work done on my blog, and I do want to check out some of the advice that will be offered on various blog-related issues during the weekend. My goals for the weekend are:

1. Organize reviews; update links

 

2. Add copyright information and an affiliation disclaimer to the site

3. Clean up my labels and categories

4. Update/change my sidebar

 

5. Plan an April reading/writing schedule

6. Comment on starred posts in my GoogleReader

7. Learn something new about blogging

8. Write upcoming posts

9. Practice writing interesting titles

10. Learn how to write my posts on the Pages app on my IPad so that I can migrate to my office (which has no computer)

11. Brainstorm creative new ideas for posts

12. Read lots of blogs and take note on what I like so that I might improve my writing and/or blog

 Once Upon a Time VI

I would also like to announce that I will take part in the Once Upon a Time Challenge, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. I really enjoyed the RIP challenge in the Fall, which SSD also hosted, and I love fantasy, so I’m excited about this challenge. I am going to commit to The Journey, which is simply one book, but I’m actually going to strive for Quest the Second, which requires me to read at least one book from each of the four categories–fantasy, folklore, fairy tale, and myth. I needed some more books to read in April, so this will definitely provide me with an incentive! This challenge goes through Tuesday, June 19.

I think I’ll probably be posting again later on today, so think of this as just a quick hello!


A Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwaySetting is a huge part in any narrative work, be it fictional or memoir. Paris, in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, is hugely significant– it could easily be considered the main character in this nonfiction work.

A Moveable Feast was published posthumously in 1964 and covers Hemingway’s time as a young expatriate in Paris from 1921 to 1926. As a young man in Paris, Hemingway spent his time writing, fretting over writing, and talking about books, writing, and art with his wife and circle of friends, which included Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He also spent quite a bit of time relishing in the cafes, bookstores, and streets of Paris. For a man famed for his to-the-point style of writing, Hemingway paints a vivid picture of what it was like to be in Paris in the ’20s.

I am halfway through A Moveable Feast, and would like to share some images and a short film that illustrates the setting of Hemingway’s life in Paris. All images have been taken from the wonderful blog Hemingway’s Paris and cover the pages which I have read thus far.

Closerie des Lilas

Hemingway loved to write for hours in the cafes of Paris, and the Closerie des Lilas was a particular favorite of his. So much so, that he became very territorial if an annoying peer happened to encounter him and disrupt his writing. Here is an amusing scene when such an interruption occured at the Lilas cafe:

“Hi, Hem. What are you trying to do? Write in a cafe?”

Your luck had run out and you shut the notebook. This was the worst thing that could happen. If you could keep your temper it would be better but I was not good at keeping mine then and said, “You rotten son of a bitch what are you doing in here off your filthy beat?”

“Don’t be insulting just because you want to act like an eccentric.”

“Take your dirty camping mouth out of here.”

“It’s a public cafe. I’ve just as much right here as you have.”

“Why don’t you go up to the Petite Chaumiere where you belong?”

“Oh dear. Don’t be so tiresome.”

Now you could get out and hope it was an accidental visit and the visitor had only come in by chance and there was not going to be an infestation. There were other good cafes to work in but they were a long walk away and this was my home cafe. It was bad to be driven out of the Closerie des Lilas. I had to make a stand or move.

Hemingway continues to insult the man, who is also a writer, and finally gets him to promise to never frequent the Closerie des Lilas again! Incidentally, this guy seems to be riding Hemingway’s coattails and reminds me of everyone’s favorite hack, Kenny Bania of Seinfeld…

Shakespeare and Company

In those days there was no money to buy books. I borrowed books from the rental library of Shakespeare and Company, which was a library and bookstore of Sylvia Beach at 12 rue de l’Odeon. On a cold windswept street, this was a warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living.

Hemingway, along with many other expatriate writing greats, spent a good deal of time at this bookstore. He chatted with Ms. Beach, met with other writers, borrowed books, and even received his mail there.

 Along the Seine

Across the branch of the Seine was the Ile St.-Louis with the narrow streets and the old, tall, beautiful houses, and you could go over there or you could turn left and walk along the quais with the length of the Ile St.-Louis and then Notre-Dame and Ile de la Cite opposite as you walked.

In the bookstalls along the quais you could sometimes find American books that had just been published for sale very cheap.

“Seeing Paris” in the 1920’s

This film clip was also featured on Hemingway’s Paris and offers viewers the chance to see live action of Hemingway’s Paris in the ’20s. Check it out!

This post is in response to the March prompt for A Classics Challenge, hosted by November’s Autumn


I’m excited to announce that I will be joining The Classics Club, a very goal-oriented group started by Jillian at A Room of One’s Own. I decided to join because mainly I just wanted to compile a list of books that I knew I would want to read, and with a deadline it’s more likely to happen. Also, I might want to take the GRE in Literature test again (I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked eight years ago) and so I’ve compiled my list based off of the most often tested works of literature.

So, here is a list of 71 books that I would like to read in the next five years. It’s possible, right?

This books are listed in order from most often tested to least likely tested on the GRE.

–Goal Date to Finish: March 15, 2017 (five years)–

Note: * denotes a re-read

1. Paradise Lost by John Milton

2. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer*

3. Collected Works of Alexander Pope

4. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift*

5. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

6. Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe*

7. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

8. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser*

9. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

10. Collected Plays of Sophocles*

11. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

12. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens*

13. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

14. Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

15. The Republic by Plato*

16. Collected Works of John Keats*

17. Volpone by Ben Jonson*

18. The Iliad by Homer

19. The Way of the World by William Congreve*

20. Howard’s End by E.M. Forster

21. The Preface to Shakespeare by Samuel Johnson

22. Don Juan by George Gordon, Lord Byron*

23. Everyman by Anonymous*

24. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

25. Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth*

26. Collected Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley*

27. Pamela by Samuel Richardson

28. Tristram Shandy by Laurance Stern

29. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

30. Collected Works of T.S. Eliot

31. As You Like It by William Shakespeare*

32. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

33. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

34. Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

35. Hard Times by Charles Dickens

36. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

37. The Poetics by Aristotle

38. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous*

39. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

40. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

41. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

42. The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster*

43. Collected Works of Dylan Thomas

44. Don Quixote by Cervantes

45. Dubliners by James Joyce

46. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

47. Tartuffe by Moliere

48. Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill

49. Collected Works of George Orwell

50. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

51. Richard II by William Shakespeare

52. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

53. Collected Works of Sylvia Plath

54. Collected Works of Emily Dickinson

55. The Aeneid by Virgil

56. Evelina by Frances Burney

57. Candide by Voltaire*

58. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

59. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

60. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

61. The American Language by H.L. Mencken

62. The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

63. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

64. Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe

65. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

66. The Stranger by Albert Camus

67. Endgame by Samuel Beckett

68. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett*

69. The Bible by Anonymous

70. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

71. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

 

 So, here’s to wishful thinking! Surely I can take a chunk out of this list within the next five years…


Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard ShawI am participating in A Classics Challenge, hosted by November’s Autumn, and each month participants are asked to write a post in response to a prompt related to their current read.

This month focuses upon characters. I just finished reading Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and I would like to discuss my newest favorite female character Vivie. Shaw’s play was published in 1898, and was considered to be written in “social protest”. Among its topics are new-budding feminism and prostitution. Vivie is a fascinating character of the feminist persuasion.

When the reader (viewer) is first introduced to Vivie, we find her to be both athletic and bookish. She is laying in a hammock on a summer afternoon, her bike resting against a wall. She is reading a book, taking notes, with a kitchen chair posted up next to her, piled high with “a stack of serious-looking books and a supply of writing paper.”

Shaw describes her as “an attractive specimen of the sensible, able, highly-educated young middle-class Englishwoman. Age 22. Prompt, strong, confident, self-possessed. Plain business-like dress, but not dowdy. She wears a chatelaine [a sort of fashionable chain] at her belt, with a fountain pen and a paper knife among its pendants.”

Vivie is a young woman of high intellect and practical aspirations. She has won third wrangler at Cambridge (a mathematics award), and states that her knowledge of the world is limited to “mathematics, lawn-tennis, eating, sleeping, cycling, and walking.”

She hopes to set up a law office in London, where she is already assisting another female lawyer. She explains her love for work as thus: “I like working and getting paid for it. When I’m tired of working, I like a comfortable chair, a cigar, a little whisky, and a novel with a good detective story in it.”

Vivie dislikes anything flippant (holidays, art, romance, and beauty) and desires independence and self-sufficiency. She shocks the men that she encounters with a very firm handshake and she has an aversion to tears and fainting.

In short, Vivie is the “New Woman”. I admire this woman.

As the play progresses, Vivie doesn’t so much change as she simply grows more firm in her self. She is more confidently rooted in being independent and self-sufficient. She gives up her fancy for her young, silly suitor Frank and cuts ties with her mother who is both completely unconventional, yet too conventional for Vivie. While her mother wants her to have the most upscale, leisurely life typical of the nobility of Victorian England, Vivie is of a completely different mindset:

“Mother: you don’t at all know the sort of person I am. […] I know perfectly well that fashionable morality is all a pretence, and that if I took your money and devoted the rest of my life to spending it fashionably, I might be as worthless and vicious as the silliest woman could possibly want to be without having a word said to me about it. But I dont want to be worthless. I shouldn’t enjoy trotting about the park to advertize my dressmaker and carriage builder, or being bored at the opera to shew off a shopwindowfull of diamonds.”

Instead, Vivie has now joined in partnership with her lawyer friend on Chancery Lane and has vowed that “there is no beauty and no romance in life for me. Life is what it is; and I am prepared to take it as it is.”

While I greatly admire Vivie’s strength and determination, especially for the time period (I can’t believe that Vivie is working in law on Chancery Lane where, only about 50-60 years before, that would be unheard of with Tulkinghorn’s set [see Bleak House]!), I am concerned that she will find herself seriously lonely and regretful if she doesn’t add some “beauty and romance” to her life. I’m all for independence and self-sufficiency through work, but let’s face it, work isn’t everything. If I ever met her, I’d probably pass on the adage “Work to live, don’t live to work.” Not that I’m very good at following this, but I try really hard to be. Maybe we could support each other.

Overall, Vivie is an amazing character–one whom I will gladly add to my favorite literary females shelf, alongside Elizabeth Bennet, Isabel Archer, and Beatrice.