I was always a goody-goody. Never skipped school until college. I didn’t even participate in Senior Skip Day in high school, which was all but posted on the school calendar.
However, if I were to play hooky, I’d want it to be a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable occasion. The following ten characters could surely make it a time I would never forget, or regret!
1. Bastian from The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Now, this guy knows how to skip school! Steal an awesome book from a bookstore, hide out in an attic (or storage room) full of blankets and candles, and literally get sucked into a good book. Plus, he brought supplies- an apple and PbJ, which he’s really good at rationing. I would love to skip a day of school so I could read with Bastian.
2. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I’ve always wanted to see New York! I could skip school and explore with Holden at my side…maybe I could even get him to lighten up!
3. Jake from The Waste Lands by Stephen King
I’m still reading The Waste Lands, and Jake just finished the weirdest day of skipping school–opening random doors in hopes of finding a desert, trespassing in vacant lots where he sees and hears trippy things, until he finally passes out in said vacant lot. I know it sounds like Jake might not be the best for a fun day, but he did hang out in a very cool bookstore. Plus, eventually his truancy is going to pay off when he finally finds the door he’s looking for! It would be awesome if I could skip school that day too!
4. Huckleberry Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Just look at this guy! Skipping school so we can do some hunting and fishing, floating down the Mississippi, avoiding danger. I think Huck would be a blast to skip school with!
5. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Falling down the rabbit hole and exploring Wonderland or another typical day at school? I vote hanging with Alice!
6. Bod from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This kid desperately needs a pal! Particularly a pal who can keep him away from the goblins who’d love to steal him away and the psycho who murdered his whole family. He is pretty fun though, with a good imagination and he plays with ghosts in a graveyard. I could skip a day of school to hang out with him.
7. Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Now, I know that Anne would never skip school! She’s almost as big of a goody-two-shoes as I am when it comes to school. But, if she did, we would have some fun! We could hang out at the Lake of Shining Waters, imagine ghosts and goblins in the woods, and gossip a bit about Josie Pye!
8. Harry, Hermione, and Ron from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Skipping school with this crew could mean butter beers, hiding under Harry’s invisibility cloak, and standing up to rotten Slytherins. Or getting some sleuthing work done. Either way, it would certainly be a worthy excuse for skipping school!
9. Ponyboy and Johnny from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Awww, these cutie pies could use a reassuring voice when they hide out in the abandoned church. I could’ve helped them cut and color their hair so that it didn’t turn out so bad, help them read Gone with the Wind, and fixed them some real food other than bologna sandwiches. Or I could just spend the day giving them hugs and kisses, which is what they so desperately needed!
10. Pippi Longstocking from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Man, this girl is crazy! Check out the spotted horse on her doorstep! If you skip school, head over to Pippi’s house…she can make anything fun and wild!
Spring is here, and I’ve already started my spring reading, but I’m pretty excited because Spring Break is right around the corner, and, being a teacher at a year-round school, I get the entire month of April off! That’s a whole lot of time for reading and blogging! Last year, I read 28 books during Spring Break. Woot! So, here are ten of the books that I’m most looking forward to reading in the spring.
1. Re-reads of The Dark Tower series–Wizard and Glass, The Wolves of the Calla, and The Dark Tower graphic novel series
I’m trying to read a book per month from this series, and these are the books slated to be read before June!
2. The Wind through the Keyhole by Stephen King
To be released in late April, I can’t wait to see what was going on with the Ka-Tet that was so important that King had to release an entirely new novel to fit between Wizard and Glass and The Wolves of the Calla. This ought to be good!
3. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and/or The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
These are both very long books, and I can’t yet decide which one I want to read for my classic in April. The Canterbury Tales is a re-read, but it can be very difficult. The Forsyte Saga is long, but very engaging, something that might be more useful in the hot summer months. Not sure yet, but I know that I’ll enjoy both.
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or The Iliad by Homer
Again, I can’t decide which one I want to read in May. The Iliad can be difficult, so it all depends upon how much brain power I have available in May. I’m not even sure that I want to read Brave New World, but it is certainly easier than The Iliad.
5. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Man, the Sookie books have been disappointing in the last two years, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the series. I always read the new book in May, and this year won’t be any different. I have to see what’s going on in Bon Temps.
6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I read Divergent in December, and liked it. I can’t turn my back on a series…I’ll see what happens next.
7. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
One or both of these will be read in the spring. Don’t know yet which one it will be.
8. Re-reads of The Walking Dead graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman
I need to refresh my memory on this series, and then pick up where I left off with the comics! Last time I read, I was at a major cliffhanger! It’s been months since I left off.
9. Continued reading of Locke & Key graphic novel series by Joe Hill
I only read the first three volumes in February, and I loved them. I need to keep going before I forget, like I did with The Walking Dead!
10. Continued reading of The Portable Dorothy Parker
I’ll probably be reading this all year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not always looking forward to the next short story, poem, or essay offered in this collection.
Recently, I was looking at my shelves on Goodreads and was surprised by the sheer amount of fantasy novels I have read or want to read. I have never really noticed what a huge fan of the genre I am, and I guess I have been for a really long time. Here are my favorites books and serials in the genre, most of which are pretty much everyone’s favorites.
1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Kingkiller Chronicle series (written so far: The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss
4. A Song of Ice and Fire series (five written, two more to go. Hopefully, they’ll be published before the end of this decade!) by George R.R. Martin
5. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
9. The Talisman and Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What Is Glaringly Absent from This List:
Here are some books I am most definitely planning on reading, as I believe they are essential for any fan of the fantasy genre.
1. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
2. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
3. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
4. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
5. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
7. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula. K Le Guin
If you get a book cover tattooed on your body, you must really love the book. Or, at least, have some sort of connection to the book. Perhaps the art is just that awesome.
After reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, my husband loved the book and the book cover so much that he got it tattooed on his arm. It looks like this:
While I have absolutely zero plans to get a tattoo, if I were, I wouldn’t doubt that it would be bookish. Here are some book covers that I would consider tattooing on my body. Each has some sort of reasoning behind it.
1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This would be such a “tuff” tattoo. I would feel super punk rock with a Clockwork Orange tatt.
2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marukami
I haven’t read this book, but I love the cover. It would make a lovely “girly” tattoo.
Maybe on my lower back instead of a fairy or dolphin.
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I love this cover, but hate the book. Have read it twice. This tattoo could be a reminder to not
ever try it again!
4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
I have a good friend with an Alice tattoo. I love it. I have always loved this book,
and if I weren’t such a chicken, this would probably be my first choice for a tattoo.
5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
I have always been attracted to the art of this classic. I think it would make a wonderful tattoo!
6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This would be such an awesome tattoo. It represents so much to me,
as a fan of the book, a fan of the genre, and a fan of the themes. I could see this on my arm!
7. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Perfecto! I love the illustrations by Quentin Blake in this book, and Matilda is so wonderfully
bookish that I feel that this would be a very good, meaningful tattoo.
8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I loved the book, and as a tattoo, Huckleberry Finn could also represent
my young life spent traveling across the states. He was a traveler, I was a traveler. Another great tattoo idea!
9. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
I would be proud to represent Dorothy Parker on my arm. She is (was) a
most awesome woman, and my tattoo could remind me of everything I wish to be as a woman.
10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Such a wonderfully creepy book cover for one of my favorite horror classics.
This is a sister story, so this tattoo could also remind me of my close connection to my own sister.
I’m a big fan of early punk and new wave. I’m also a huge fan of classic literature. Here are ten punkish (my husband is forcing this disclaimer: I KNOW these don’t all fall in the “punk” category, but they are in the same vein) theme songs that remind me of some of my favorite literary works.
1. The Catcher in the Rye–“Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed
This was an easy one. Holden’s adventures in New York City connect evenly with Lou Reed’s.
2. Hamlet–“Digital” by Joy Division
Oh Hamlet…so paranoid.
“I feel it closing in, I feel it closing in, day in, day out, day in, day out…”
3. Wuthering Heights–“Mother” by Danzig
Heathcliff. Mothers. Fathers. Lock your daughters up and away from the diabolical Heathcliff.
“Father. Gonna take your daughter out tonight. Gonna show her my world. Oh father.”
Heh, heh…Glen Danzig even kinda looks like Heathcliff.
4. Romeo and Juliet–“What Do I Get” by the Buzzcocks
If they hadn’t died tragically, I think Romeo would have tired of Juliet eventually. He just wanted a girlfriend–he was in love with love. I think Friar Lawrence told him that. But, before Juliet, he was unlucky in love. This is Romeo’s pre-Juliet theme song.
“I just want a lover like any other, what do I get? […] I only get sleepless nights, alone here in my half-empty bed,”
5. The Age of Innocence–“Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground
The sad affair of Newland Archer and Countess Olenska:
It was good what we did yesterday.
And I’d do it once again.
The fact that you are married,
Only proves, you’re my best friend.
But it’s truly, truly a sin.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
6. The Portrait of a Lady–“Reptile” by The Church and “Gut Feeling” by Devo
Gilbert Osmond is truly an evil snake, and Isabel Archer doesn’t realize it until she is trapped into marriage with him! These two songs encapsulate what I think that must feel like.
Too dangerous to keep.
Too feeble to let go.
And you want to bite the hand.
Should have stopped this long ago.
I looked for sniffy linings
but you’re rotten to the core
I’ve had just about all I can take
you know I can’t take it no more
Got a gut feeling
7. Bleak House–“I Love Livin’ in the City” by Fear and “That’s Entertainment” by The Jam and “Boredom” by The Buzzcocks
The nastiness that is London is perfectly set to music in the gritty “I Love Livin’ in the City” and the bitter “That’s Entertainment”. Dickens would’ve approved.
Bodies wasted in the street,
People dyin’ on the street,
But the suburban scumbags, they don’t care,
Just get fat and dye their hair!
A smash of glass and the rumble of boots –
An electric train and a ripped up ‘phone booth –
Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat –
Lights going out and a kick in the balls –
And for Lady Dedlock, “Boredom” by The Buzzcocks. Certainly her theme song!
8. Sense and Sensibility–“Ever Fallen in Love” by The Buzzcocks
Another Buzzcocks tune, this time for Marianne Dashwood and Willoughby. Theirs was an unfortunate love affair. The fast pace of this tune reminds me of their mad dash love affair.
I can’t see much of a future
Unless we find out what’s to blame
What a shame
And we won’t be together much longer
Unless we realize that we are the same
Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love? […]
You shouldn’t’ve fallen in love with
9. Washington Square–“Shakespeare’s Sister” by The Smiths
I admit that I haven’t read this book yet, but I saw the movie, and this song, particularly a certain part, reminds me of the young heiress trying to get past her father so that she might run away with her fortune-hunter(?) suitor.
But I’m going to meet the one I love
So please don’t stand in my way
Because I’m going to meet the one I love
No, Mamma, let me go !
10. The Portable Dorothy Parker–“Love Like Anthrax” by Gang of Four
I’m pretty sure that Dorothy Parker would have been into punk rock had she been alive. Surely, she would have approved of the lyrics in this song, which takes the same sardonic view of love:
“Love’ll get you like a case of anthrax
And that’s something I don’t want to catch.”
This was a tough one, as it’s hard to choose between them all. At the same time, they’re just things, and many I have already read. If they burned up, they’d still be stored up in my memory, much like the rebels at the end of Fahrenheit 451.
So, I chose based upon whether or not I could replace them and/or their sentimental value. Here’s what I came up with:
First, I would have to save my antique books. I’m so lucky that my dad knows that I love antique books–when he can’t think of a Christmas gift, he sometimes buys me a new antique book!
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (beautiful book from 1902)
Next are my books that might be hard to replace because they were signed.
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
5. A Song of Ice and Fire series (A Dance with Dragons is signed) by George R.R. Martin
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
A very underrated set of books are my anthologies from college, which are filled with footnotes and my own personal notes. Surely, these are irreplaceable!
8. The Riverside Shakespeare (it has everything!)
9. Folk and Fairy Tales (for some reason, I sold
this book after I finished the class, and it was so
hard to find to buy again!)
10. The last book that I would grab would be whatever I was currently reading…there might be a lot of down time while I deal with the mess of house fire. Gotta finish my current read!
It seems that San Diego is paying tribute to Dickens on his birthday–it is as gray and rainy today as the scenes he described in Bleak House. I can almost see Lady Dedlock, staring out my window at the passing traffic on this rainy evening, muttering “I’m so bored.”
To celebrate Dickens’ 200th, I completed this little meme on my experience with Dickens. Thanks to Yet Another Period Drama Blog for posting it and Jillian at A Room of One’s Own for directing me to it!
How were you first introduced to Charles Dickens?
I was first introduced to Dickens via Mickey’s Christmas Carol. It was my favorite holiday movie every year!
Which Charles Dickens novels and stories have you read? Which are your favorites?
Unfortunately, I’ve only read
and last month
Which Charles Dickens novel(s) do you most want to read?
I really want to read David Copperfield, as it is considered to be his greatest masterpiece. I also want to read Nicholas Nickleby as I think it is rather comedic.
What are your favorite Charles Dickens quotes (up to three)?
My favorite quote from Bleak House was from John Jarndyce to Richard:
If you had the abilities of all the great men, past and present, you could do nothing well, without sincerely meaning it, and setting about it. If you entertain the supposition that any real success, in great things or small, ever was or could be, ever will or can be, wrested from Fortune by fits and starts, leave that wrong idea here… (218)
That is some of the best advice I’ve read since Polonius’s farewell tips to Laertes in Hamlet! If some people I knew in real life would take this advice, they would save themselves a whole lot of heartache!
Who are your Top 3 favorite Dickens heroines? and why?
Dickens isn’t known for writing great heroines, so I don’t have any yet, and I doubt that I will.
Who are your Top 3 favorite Dickens heroes? and why?
From Bleak House: John Jarndyce is an amazing man. I also really liked Mr. Boythorn and Mr. Bucket, though neither could be considered heroes really.
Which three Dickens villains do you most love to hate?
Ebenezer Scrooge, Estella, and Mr. Tulkinghorn
Which Dickens characters (up to three) do you find the most funny?
Absolute favorite is Mr. Guppy. I “hoorayed” whenever he appeared on the page.
If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of Dickens’s novels, which would it be and why?
Great Expectations, although I haven’t seen all of the current adaptations.
If you could have lunch with Charles Dickens today, what question would you most like to ask him?
Would you read aloud for me? Some good, comical scene please. Maybe one with Mr. Guppy or Mr. Boythorn.
Have you ever read a Dickens biography or watched a biographical film about him?
I read Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin in January.
How many Dickens adaptations have you seen?
– Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1982)
– Oliver! (1968, starring Ann Margret and my boyfriend Jack Wild, of Pufnstuf)
– Scrooged (1988, starring Bill Murray in the Scroogish role)
– A Christmas Carol (1984, starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge)
– The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge)
– Great Expectations (1998, starring Ethan Hawke as Pip, Robert DeNiro as Magwitch, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Estella)
– Nicholas Nickleby (2002, with Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Nathan Lane, and Anne Hathaway)
– Bleak House (am currently watching)
Which Dickens adaptation is your favorite?
So far, it’s Bleak House. It’s perfect!
Have you seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol? Which version is your favorite?
Yes. Probably the George C. Scott version.
Who is your favorite Dickens villain and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of them?
Mr. Tulkinghorn, played by Charles Dance and Bill Sykes, who was frighteningly played by Oliver Reed
Have you seen any musical adaptations of any of Dickens’ stories? If so, which is your favorite song from it?
Umm yeah! Consider Yourself, sung by the Artful Dodger, as played by my childhood musical boyfriend Jack Wild (he had the best name!)
Happy birthday, Mr. Dickens!
Thank you for all of your wonderful stories, characters, and the important changes you instigated in our world!