Book Review: The Fir Tree

Book Review: The Fir Tree

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian AndersenI absolutely adore this beautiful little book by renowned tale-teller Hans Christian Andersen. The cloth binding and the illustrations are beautiful and classic. This will be a keeper for sure, perhaps even a new family heirloom for us!

Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the striking and contemporary illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is elevated from a children’s book to a unique work of art and makes an ideal gift for people of all ages.

The story is beautifully told, short enough for me to read to my daughter, but deep enough to maintain so much meaning. In the tradition of true fairy-tales, The Fir Tree is rife with lessons to be learned and takeaways that provide wisdom and insight for life well beyond the childhood years. Read more

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken is one of my favorite poems (granted, it is one of America’s favorite poems). As I look forward to fall (I am over the heat and humidity), this poem always comes to mind.


The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; Read more

Coze

Coze

In honor of the illustrious Miss Austen’s birthday, I’m going to employ the word “coze” today…which, of course, means I will need to find someone to have a friendly chat with — always a wonderful addition to a Monday!

“Miss Crawford…proposed their going up into her room, where they might have a comfortable coze.” – Mansfield Park

Sweater

(The word coze makes me think of sweaters for some reason. Maybe I’ll need to have a chat while wearing a sweater…)

Book Review: Anna of the Five Towns

Book Review: Anna of the Five Towns

Anna of the Five Towns Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett is a classic British novel published in 1902 that was then turned into a miniseries in the ’80s (I haven’t seen the series yet…).

I think perhaps the language used by Bennett was my favorite aspect of this novel. His words are rich and beautiful–reminding me why I love reading in the first place.

The main character, Anna Tellwright, was a little dry at first, but as her character grew and evolved so did my investment in her. By the end of the book, I genuinely wanted her life to turn out well. The cast of supporting characters all play their roles well–from the sympathetic little sister and respectable love interest to the spoiled friend and codger of a father.

The plot is slow to evolve, dealing more with Anna’s personal evolution than the changes in her physical world. Her delightfully ignorant eyes are opened to the world and she learns about standing up for the weak, as well as lessons in grace, forgiveness and friendship.

The end holds a slightly surprising twist, but, in true British literature fashion, it is hardly sensational. Although slow going, this was an enjoyable read–and a new author to me.

For the love of words

For the love of words

For the love of words

I have been reading through Arnold Bennett’s Anna of the Five Towns and learning ever more about language, vocabulary, and the written word.

The language employed by Bennett in this story is rich and powerful. The worlds just roll of the tongue in a fascinating and sumptuous way. Words like languorous and timorously.

Others were beyond my recognition, some I’d never even heard of before. A few brand new words for me to relish:

  • Aquiline – of or like the eagle.
  • Erysipelas – an acute, febrile infectious disease, caused by a specific streptococcus
  • Eleemosynary – of or pertaining to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
  • Quiescent – being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless:
  • Celerity – swiftness; speed.
  • Sagacious – having or showing acute mental discernment and keen practical sense; shrewd:
  • Aren’t they just beautiful?