Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At Last!! It's the reading list!

Bella’s Bookshelf Reading List 2011

January – Of Mice and Men

February – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

March – Pygmalion

April – The Scarlet Letter

May – Uncle Tom’s Cabin

June – The Color Purple

July – David Copperfield

August – David Copperfield

September – David Copperfield

October – Catcher in the Rye

November – Frankenstein

December – Huck Finn

I'll go back and add author's names and make it look much prettier later on when I have some more time! :) But here it is for anyone who is interested!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gone With the Wind, Parts 1 and 2: A Summary

Scarlett O'Hara was sixteen years old when we meet her in the days immediately leading up to the American Civil War. She has all the attention from all of the boys and men around, but she only desires Ashley Wilkes, a childhood friend and neighbor. Upon learning that he is to marry his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, and go to the war, Scarlett agrees to marry Melanie's brother, Charles Hamilton, even though she does not love him. Charles dies of measles shortly after he leaves for the war, and Scarlett bears him a child, Wade, who she basically ignores and leaves to a slave, Prissy, to raise.

Scarlett, Wade, and Prissy all go to Atlanta to stay with Aunt Pittypat and Melanie Wilkes, Ashley's wife. The women are all in mourning, but do take turns nursing the wounded at the hospital. During a fundraiser for the hospital, Scarlett and Melanie are called upon to work a booth, even though it is deemed inappropriate because of their mourning status. Scarlett is thrilled because she is tired of being cooped up in the house, and pretending to mourn a dead husband she never cared about, while everyone else her age (now seventeen) is off at balls. At the fundraiser, Dr. Meade declares a bidding auction for the privilege of dancing with the ladies, and a blockade runner named Rhett Butler bids a large amount of gold for Scarlett. This is a true scandal because she is a new widow, but Scarlett agrees to do it. Rhett excites and infuriates her, as he was present in the room when Scarlett declared her love for Ashley before he left for the war, and Rhett teases Scarlett about that and her resulting temper.

As then next 2 years pass, the Confederacy takes a hard beating both on the fronts and at home. Supplies are hard to come by and food prices skyrocket. Rhett makes a fortune running the blockades, and by selling and buying from both the North and the South. His outspokenness about the eventual demise of the Confederacy gets him ostracized from polite Atlanta society, though Melanie insists he is a good man, and allows him to continue to visit them. He brings gifts and treats to Aunt Pitty, Melanie, and, of course, to Scarlett. Rhett and Scarlett are seen together and it is quite scandalous.

After two years, Ashley comes home on a furlough for Christmas. Scarlett connives to see him alone. He asks her to take care of Melanie for him, and she tells him again how much she loves him. With a sad look on his face, he tells her good-bye, without giving her the kiss she had asked him for. Scarlett is determined that he loves her. Three months later, she is shocked to find out that Melanie is expecting Ashley's child. She determines to leave Atlanta and return to Tara, but then Ashley is reported as missing. Rhett uses his connections in the North to find out that Ashley has been taken prisoner and is being held at the most horrible prison camp in the North, Rock Springs in Illinois.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea: A Summary

An old fisherman has not caught a fish in many days. He believes that the next day he goes out he will have luck and get a fish. He has a young boy who usually fishes with him, and who tries to take care of him in his poverty. But the young boy's father has instructed him to go fish on another fishing boat the next day, so the old man sets out alone.

He has decided to go far, far out to fish. And he does have the luck he counts on. He hooks a marlin! The marlin begins to pull the boat out and out and the old man just lets the line go out and he holds on. The boat is dragged for 2 whole days before the fish begins to tire. The old man has been cut by the line, and he is exhausted, but he gets the enormous fish to the surface and kills him. He attaches it to the side of the boat because it's too big.

On the way back to shore, sharks begin to attack the marlin and eat pieces of it, right off the side of the boat. The old man fights off the sharks the best he can, despite being exhausted. But in the end, the sharks eat all of the meat from the huge fish. The old man makes it into port with only the skeleton of the great fish still tied to the boat. He doesn't have the money from selling the fish but he has the honor of bringing in such a great fish!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Northanger Abbey: A Summary

Catherine Morland, a 17 year old girl from a large family, was a tomboy as a child, but had grown up to be a pretty young lady. She was invited to go to Bath with her neighbors. At first she doesn't like it because she doesn't know anyone. But soon she meets Isabella Thorpe and they become fast friends. She also meets Henry Tilney, an older man than she is. He has a clever wit and they enjoy conversation and dancing. Isabella's brother and Catherine's brother James arrive in Bath, and Isabella immediately attaches herself to James. Isabella's brother tries to woo Catherine, but she is turned off by his personality. She wants to get to know Henry better, and his sister Eleanor who is recently arrived in Bath. But her brother and the Thorpes conspire to keep her away from the Tilneys.

Isabella and James become engaged, and shortly afterward, Catherine is invited to the Tilney estate, Northanger Abbey. Since Catherine is fond of gothic novels, she imagines the Abbey to be a dark and mysterious place. Henry encourages this perception during the drive to the Abbey. There was a section of the Abbey not used, that used to belong to Mrs. Tilney before her death. Catherine snoops around, suspecting General Tilney of murdering his wife. Henry catches Catherine and is outraged when she relates her suspicions to him.

One day, the General returns suddenly and announces that they are leaving and Catherine must go home. She is very upset, and returns home alone. Soon after she is home, Henry arrives and surprises her by asking for her hand in marriage. He tells her that the General had been told by a jealous Mr. Thorpe that Catherine was very wealthy, and the General was attempting to arrange a marriage between her and Henry. When he ran into Mr. Thorpe again, the spurned young man tells the General that Catherine is, in fact, destitute - which is not true. That is why he kicked her out. Henry found this out and was furious with his father, who told him never to think of Catherine again.

Within a year, however, Eleanor had become married to a wealthy man, and the General relented in his opposition... aided by his learning that Catherine was not destitute at all. Henry and Catherine were married and lived happily ever after.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Scarlet Pimpernel: A Summary

During the French Revolution Reign of Terror, aristocrats are sent to the guillotine just due to their place in society. Some fortunate aristocrats are aided in escape by the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, who is presumed to be an Englishman, and who has eluded the best agents of France. Marguerite Blakeney is a French woman who is married to a rich and prominent Englishman, Sir Percy Blakeney. When Marguerite's brother Armand is proven to be part of the Society of the Scarlet Pimpernel, she is blackmailed by French agent Chauvelin to use her connections in British society to discover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and assist in the capture of him and his men. In the process of trying to gather information for Chauvelin, Marguerite rediscovers the love she has for her husband and which he has for her, which she thought she had lost forever - just in time to realize that he is the Scarlet Pimpernel and the information she secured and gave to Chaulevin will result in his capture and death. With the assistance of a devoted member of the Order, Marguerite travels to France to warn her husband, or to die at his side if her efforts should fail. In France, she is captured by Chauvelin and his men as she follows the soldiers who are being led by an old Jew to the location of the Order's secret location. However, the old Jew is her the Scarlet Pimpernel, her husband, in disguise. In another amazing escape, the two of them elude capture, while still managing to free Marguerite's brother and an aristocrat who is set to go to the guillotine. The two are reunited, openly reaffirming their love for each other, and set sail to home.