Friday, April 20, 2018

The Gilmore Project: "Pilot"


The Project:



The Gilmore Project is an experiment in composition form. As a huge fan of the show Gilmore Girls, I have watched and rewatched the episodes several times over. During my last full viewing in early 2018, I noticed myself watching the show differently than I had in the past and realized that there was a lot of personal reflection being stimulated by the events of the show as well as the music and cultural references. As a result, I decided to start a journey in blog form...exploring each episode and how it resonated with me personally. 

Disclaimer: If you have not watched Gilmore Girls but plan to, you'll want to watch each episode before reading these posts. There will 100% of the time be spoilers. I'd be doing this wrong if there weren't. That's the nature of the beast.


The Episode:


Lorelai: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
Luke: How many cups have you had this morning?
Lorelai: None.
Luke: Plus?
Lorelai: Five. But yours is better.
Luke: You have a problem.
Lorelai: Yes I do.

"Pilot" is the first episode of Gilmore Girls to air. It is the start of the entire Gilmore universe. It originally aired on the CW network in October of 2000. This episode introduces viewers to Lorelai Gilmore and her 15-year-old daughter, Rory (short for Lorelai...yes...her mother named her after herself). It sets the scene for the series, laying out the basics of character relationships. Lorelai and Rory discover that Rory has been accepted to the prestigious private school, Chilton. Lorelai runs into an issue with the ability to pay for tuition and ends up having to approach her wealthy parents (from whom she is somewhat estranged) for financial help. This results in an agreement for Friday night dinners with Richard and Emily Gilmore, Lorelai's parents, in exchange for their funding of Rory's tuition.


The Lorelai Angle:


I think this is where the project really began...with Lorelai. When the series first premiered, I was in my early 20's. I was in dental school and then, in the later seasons, just beginning to make my way in the "real world". Because of this, I often identified more with Rory than Lorelai, but really never found myself being solidly capable of feeling as if I truly belonged fully in either camp. That's still a bit true, as I can reflect back on things in my life that Rory's situation reminds me of, but now that I'm a bit (ahem) older, I find myself more fully thinking of myself as "a Lorelai" rather than "a Rory". 

The primary issue for Lorelai in this episode is one of money. Ah...isn't that just the continuing fun of being an adult? There are always "fun" financial surprises around every corner. As I watched the episode for today's post, we are dealing with the fun of unexpectedly replacing tires on our primary vehicle. There goes money straight out of savings. It seems that there are always things that crop up no matter how good you think they will finally get going. As Gary messaged me this afternoon, "we seem to be having our share of crap...I hope we get constipated soon." At least he has a way of making me laugh about it, but it's always something, isn't it? 

Paralleling closer to Lorelai's predicament, there was a time when I had to approach my own parents in need of financial help. At the time, I was not a child, but a fully capable adult (much like Lorelai). I owned my own house and I was holding down a job, but there just wasn't enough there to keep everything afloat. I was self-employed, which really was the crux of the problem. Running a business isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Yes, the scheduling freedom is nice and it's always good to control your own benefits, but it really blows when you have to sacrifice your own financial comfort in order to try and make things work. 

The 2008/2009 financial slump hit me and my business particularly hard. I've typically been pretty good with money and I was able to utilize my savings and restructure things a few times in order to scrimp and save where I needed to in order to keep things going. But sometimes there's only so much you can do. Ultimately, I found myself up against a wall, afraid that I would lose everything. Now...hindsight is 20/20 and I probably should have responded to this situation a bit differently than I did a the time, but I felt that I just had to keep making it all work. I needed help. 

In Lorelai's case, she really didn't want to approach her parents because they had a sticky history and an uncomfortable, somewhat obligatory, relationship. The assistance from her parents came with strings attached and, several times down the line, she was left feeling incompetent because she had deigned to approach them with the situation at all. This couldn't be farther from the truth for me. Luckily, I have a very good relationship with my parents. I'm able to talk to them about my life and I have nothing but respect for the way they've brought me up. Yes, we've had our moments, but overall I've always felt that they have been there to support and guide me. However, this good relationship did nothing to ease my apprehension about talking to them about my need for help. In fact, it may have made it worse, as I felt very strongly that I had failed. Like Lorelai, I tend to be a bit rooted in a need to provide for myself. I don't like handouts and I don't like feeling like I can't do something on my own. It was extremely difficult to swallow my pride.


The Rory Angle:



There are many ways in which Rory is me during my teenage years. I was studious and fairly shy (I'm still very much an introvert) and I didn't really have strong connections to a lot of people I went to school with. In fact, I think I'm probably just about as close to my high school classmates now (via the wonders of Facebook) as I was when I was sixteen. I suppose that could be read two different ways, but trust me when I tell you that this means that there are few relationships there that wouldn't merely land somewhere in the spectrum between acquaintance and friend. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad people...I'm just not much of a people person.

In this episode, Rory is shown in English class and the teacher gives them the option to complete their reading of the assigned Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or to work on the follow up essay. Rory is shown writing diligently while her female classmates are testing out nail polish and venturing guesses as to what she is working on.

Girl 1: Could be a love letter.
Girl 2: Or her diary.
Girl 3: Or a slam book.
Girl 4: It's the assignment.

Yep. that was me. Rory has already finished the reading and is focused on her schoolwork rather than social circles. This tendency to be more studious than social is hinted at a few other times during the episode, particularly when she is shown in conversation with her best friend, Lane. In my particular case, I was very much a studious teenager. Schoolwork was a priority and anything outside of that...well...often made me pretty uncomfortable (see the earlier mention of introvert). I really didn't have a best friend like Rory has in Lane due to a falling out with my long time best friend early in sophomore year, but I had a few closer friends that I did enjoy spending time with. Though I still keep in contact with a couple of them and I have developed good relationships with a few additional friends along the way, none has the lasting closeness that we see throughout the series between Rory and Lane. I'm a bit envious of that. 

This episode also introduces us to the character of Dean Forester. Rory meets him for the first time in the hallway of the high school as she is packing up her locker in preparation for the transfer to Chilton. It becomes pretty clear that she is interested in him as she (though earlier very excited about changing schools) tells Lorelai, "I'm not sure I want to go to Chilton. The timing's really bad." Ah...the old changing things for a boy.

While I certainly changed things about myself and the trajectory of my life several times along the way because of a boy...or a man...the big thing that hit me about this particular interaction was Lorelai's response to Rory's balking. During the subsequent argument between the two Gilmore girls, Lorelai hypothesizes that the boy has "dark hair, romantic eyes, looks a little dangerous?...Tattoos are good too," and then hollers, "Does he have a motorcycle? Because if you're going to throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!" Ah...now that reminds me of sixteen. 

You see, at sixteen, I was all the things previously mentioned. I was responsible and studious. I held a 4.0 GPA and a job. But during the summer I was sixteen, there was also a boy. A boy with dark hair and tattoos. He didn't have a motorcycle, but I think the fact that he was twenty-two and a Marine probably made up for that. (Besides, I'm sure at some point later in life he likely bought one. He's the type.) It was a summer fling that never went anywhere beyond a month or two, but how my dad didn't completely flip over the situation is beyond me. Props to him for that because that required a lot of trust in my ability to not be a complete idiot. That boy/man disappeared from my life as quickly as he entered it and though it's been a somewhat funny anecdote to my fairly lackluster dating history, I hadn't heard from him or seen anything of him in over twenty years. Funnily enough though, I actually discovered earlier this year via a post in my newsfeed (oh Facebook and your weird and sometimes wonderful randomness) that said boy/man is actually now in a long-term relationship with a friend of a high school friend. The world is sometimes very small.


Other Musings:


When I went through the episode in preparation for this post, I took notes. When I finished, I didn't think I had much. In the end, I wound up cutting about half of the information I had jotted down. This included a few snippets here and there that didn't lead to anything big and some simple things like acknowledging that hearing "There She Goes" by the La's in the intro did nothing but remind me of the Boo Radleys version from So I Married an Axe Murderer. I figure this is how a lot of these pieces will likely go. I won't be spewing out every thought I have, but rather focusing on a few things that presented a larger picture. Sometimes it will be serious, other times it will be silly or just plain stupid.

Like I mentioned in the first bit of this post, The Gilmore Project is an experiment. It's an adventure. I'm feeling it out as I go. So...please, feel free to provide me feedback where you see fit. What would you like to see more of/less of? Any things you'd like me to address that I don't even allude to? Crowdsourced creativity can sometimes be a very helpful thing.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Gilmore Project

I've been struggling with needing something different around here...having found myself growing bored of my own posts about books. (Whoa...That's never a good sign.) I just needed more variety and something a bit more substantial than spouting what feels like occasionally monotonous and repetitive evaluations that don't always have a full sense of heart behind them. There are good book bloggers and bad book bloggers and I have slumped into the latter category.

Crafts really haven't been an option of late since we're slowly remodeling the house and have yet to really unpack that category of stuff into an organized and permanent space. So there's been a bit of limbo about what in the world I would write about. Thus, instead of crafting or writing, (and since I'm ridiculously pregnant and uncomfortable), I've been spending a lot of time on the internet reading other blogs or just hanging out on the couch. I'm not going to lie...that can become somewhat boring.

It gets a bit eerily quiet in the house sometimes, so I've been spending B's naptime running Netflix in the background while I get the house cleaned or just relax for a few minutes. A couple of months ago, I decided to rewatch one of my favorite series, Gilmore Girls, for what has to be at least the sixth full run.


I finished rewatching a little over a month ago. This time through, I found myself noticing new things and seeing the episodes and characters in a different light. Now...full disclosure, I always find something new when I watch. For those who haven't watched the show before, the episodes are FULL of clever references to books, music, pop culture, and other little sly bits of information. But this was different. I started noticing how some things paralleled to my own life. I started reflecting on those little clever references. I started seeing the storylines from different points of view. And I decided...maybe this might be something a little interesting to write about. There may have been a small epiphany type feeling.

And so...I'm beginning what I'm calling The Gilmore Project. It's an experiment and hopefully will result in a good blogging adventure. I'll be going episode by episode through all seven regular seasons as well as the Year in the Life episodes released by Netflix in late 2016. As I sift through the plot of each episode, I'll reflect on different pieces. In some cases, I may explain how events from a particular character's experience parallel to my own life. Sometimes I may simply reflect on how the music used in the episode reminds me of certain things. Or I may muse on specific references used in the plot with regard to literature, historical events, music, or pop culture. Sometimes there's bound to be a lot to unpack, so there's a chance that an episode may prompt more than one post. To put it bluntly, I'll be winging as I go.

I'm finding myself both excited and nervous about this project. It's something different than I've ever really done before...especially on the blog, in a public way. There's bound to be some pretty personal reflections and there may be things that I feel somewhat uncomfortable writing about. But I feel like I need to explore my writing in a different way and I need to do something new. I've been stagnant around here for too long and I don't yet have the ability to fully return to craft projects (though this may change by mid-fall if the summer goes as planned). This really is a true experiment. Given...it won't be interesting for everyone, but it should be a fun exercise if nothing else. A good way to reflect on events, thoughts, and other random bits.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

2017 Book of the Year: Top Two...AND the WINNER!


Well...nothing like squeezing this to the end of the month, eh? Life has been ridiculous around here the last few weeks, so unfortunately the blog took a backseat. Between farm animals and ridiculous amounts of spring snow, I'm ready to run away under the cover of night.

I need a nice, quiet vacation somewhere warm, but not warm enough to necessitate a swim suit. Why no swim suit, you ask? Well...at nearing 7 months pregnant, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't fit in anything that resembled a suit and would instead be relegated to looking like a ridiculous blimp encased in some form of strained spandex.

Anyway...back to the matter at hand. Since I have managed to put things off for FAR too long, I'm combining two posts into one. This means that today is the day, my friends. Before the post is out, we will have a winner in our pockets.

Let's do this!

Four fantastic competitors. You can't go wrong reading any of these. But hey...we all know how this has to shake out. Three of them will...inevitably, have to go. Ready to start ripping off band-aids? 

Left Bracket



I have to admit that after the first couple of rounds, I found myself really rooting for Slade House just because of the fact that it is such an anomaly for me given my usual reading repertoire. And it really did hold out quite well. When it came to this round though, I just couldn't justify letting it continue. Sad, but true. The Weight of Feathers was just too good to let it go by the wayside. I'm just a sucker for a cute and somewhat romantic YA fantasy, I suppose. My regards to Slade House...David Mitchell really did put together a good book...but The Weight of Feathers moves into the Top Two.


Right Bracket



Now...before we get into this match-up, I have to own up to a bit of a boo boo last time. I managed to claim in the writing that Miss Peregrine was the winner of the bracket, when the graphic clearly showed that Hollow City was moving on to the Final Four. Oops. That's the first time that I've managed to actually publish a duking-it-out mistake. I had contemplated the match-up for too long and let the winner go back in forth in my head. So close was the decision, that I ultimately forgot what I had decided and managed to basically announce both books as the winner in the same post. Dunce. I have since gone back and rectified the post with an edit. They were both good books, but Hollow City was really supposed to be the winner. So...with that cleared up...let's move forward.

Here we find Ransom Riggs facing off against himself yet again. Two fantastic books and a great series. Oh...and this time I'll actually announce the correct winner.

I will admit that Hollow City was a fantastic second book in a trilogy. And to see a second book in a series top out over either the first or the finale is hard to find. In fact, I can only think of two series wherein my favorite book was somewhere in the middle of the books...A Ring of Endless Light (book 4 in Madeleine L'Engle's Austin Family Chronicles) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book 3 in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series). So I have to already be impressed that it took out Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. (Even if I did go and screw up its victory.)

But, alas...it's not meant to be again. In this case, I can't ignore the fantastic finale of the trilogy. Library of Souls was a gripper from beginning. I stayed up well into the night in order to finish it. It was one of those cases where I couldn't read it fast enough, but I didn't want it to end. Library of Souls was the undeniable clear winner of this face off.


And then there were two.

The Top Two...



It was a super staunch match-up, but those who have been paying attention likely already know the winner. This tends to be how things go when it really gets down to the nitty gritty. Individual brackets leading up to this moment may have been hotly contested and difficult to decide, but there typically tends to be one book each year that just stands out above the rest and emerges as the likely winner somewhere around the Sweet Sixteen.

This year was really no different. As I went through the bracket, there was no denying it. By the Elite Eight, I knew who was going to win one side of the bracket and would likely come out on top of all of the rest.

Let's admit it, he did have a bit of an unfair advantage. Having THREE books make it to the Elite Eight would give anyone a dang good chance of taking it all. And so he came through as the clear winner. With his finale in the Miss Peregrine trilogy, Ransom Riggs's Library of Souls is officially my 2017 Book of the Year!




Monday, March 19, 2018

2017 Book of the Year: Final Four


Well...the good news is that I'm ahead of the bracket status for March Madness. Don't worry. I promise we'll get through the remaining brackets before the end of the month.

We've whittled the field down to eight books...and they are all really good reads. But now, it's time to get that down to four.

Admittedly, the pairings at this point get far more difficult. However, there are substantially fewer to deal with...so that works out well.

 vs.


I really enjoyed both of these books. The YA fantasy genre just seemed to be right up my alley last year. I felt like I just sped through anything I picked up from that section. Always a good thing to have happen when you've had a recent reading slump.

Deciding between these two was a little bit challenging, but I really knew in my gut right off which one was going to move forward. The Paper Magician was a very good read that led to a really good series, but it just didn't wow me as much as The Weight of Feathers. McLemore's novel just feel a bit more warm and fuzzy.

Welcome to the Final Four, The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore.


 vs.


Every pairing that Slade House has ended up in thus far has been odd. I guess that was inevitable given the fact that it's the only book of it's genre that made the reading list at all in 2017. This time, it got paired up against the one book from the group that could be considered "Chick Lit". So yes...the oddness continues.

Again, both books were good reads. They both went quickly and smoothly for me. But I was just more substantially wowed by Slade House. I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. And sure...the fact that it did surprise me probably gives it a bit of an unfair advantage, but The Bookshop on the Corner, while good, just felt a bit more...and I somewhat cringe to use this word, but I suppose it explains it...common. Slade House stuck out more. It stayed with me longer.

So...as such...I have to give the win to Slade House by David Mitchell. And I have to admit that I am still surprised that it has made it this far. Onward to the Final Four it is!


vs.


This was a good pairing. Both challengers are very good books. Both books kept me up, obsessed with continuing to read. And I will admit that choosing this one hit me a bit in the gut. John Green has historically produced novels that I have adored...or at least very much enjoyed. Turtles All the Way Down was no exception. In fact, it was right up there amongst his best. So, it should have been a slam dunk, right? Ah...not so quick.

Library of Souls is the finale in the Miss Peregrine trilogy. And it was powerful and gripping through to the end. It's definitely a worthy foe. Interestingly enough, Green and Riggs are also actually friends in real life. Both have been writers for Mental Floss. It's unfortunate that they have to face off in this way. But such is the nature of the bracket.

This should have taken me more deliberation, but it didn't. Two really great books and yet one was just so clearly the winner. I knew which one wowed me more. Riggs takes down the formidable Green and Riggs's Library of Souls moves to the next round.


 vs.


It's now inevitable that Ransom Riggs will have two books competing in the final four. Not only that, but two of his books will face off against each other for two rounds in a row. Now it's just a matter of deciding which of these two will take on Library of Souls.

Both of these books read extremely well. Hollow City was very impressive as a second novel in the trilogy. In most cases, the second book winds up being less impressive than the initial read. Indeed, a lot of the time, it simply holds the ground and lays a bit of detail to hold out for the third book. That was not the case with Hollow City. It could have stood mostly on its own. And it kept the interest throughout...cover to cover.

And then there's Miss Peregrine. The book that started it all. I had been wanting to read this book for quite a long time, but somehow never got myself around to it. And then, I picked it up and I was sucked in. I flew through the entire series in a matter of days.

** Edit ** This was the original paragraph here: Much like when the books in The Paper Magician series faced off against one another, I had to give credit for the instigation of interest in the series. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children moves forward to face the remaining competition. 

And yet...if you're paying attention, you'll notice that Miss Peregrine is NOT the book that shows as the winner in the bracket. This is the result of my continued internal struggle with determining a winner with this faceoff. The back and forth resulted in a serious conflict that didn't shake out all the way. When I realized what I had done, I had to take stock. And...I realized that Hollow City really did deserve the win. It was every bit as good as Miss Peregrine, but it the additional oomph of being an impressive sophomore novel. Because it bucked that oh so common trend of being lackluster, I had to give it a bit of a tip of the hat. So, when it all was said and done...Hollow City really was the winner in this batch. (Oh...and it didn't hurt that I really didn't want to have to redo the graphic.) ** End Edit **
And there it is. We're down to four. The Weight of Feathers, Slade House, Library of Souls, and Hollow City are the best of the best and they continue to compete to see who will be the ultimate champion.

Which of these four would you choose as the winner? Who should be the 2017 Book of the Year?

Friday, March 9, 2018

2017 Book of the Year: Elite Eight


Trooping right along in the eliminations, today we're moving the field from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight. This is the part in the eliminations where competitions start to get difficult and books that I really enjoyed start getting turned away.

This is where this round starts...

Let's see who survives the head-to-head match-ups this time.

Left Side Bracket:

 vs.


The Weight of Feathers is a YA fantasy novel that is something of a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. The Master Magician is a YA fantasy novel that is the culmination of The Paper Magician series. Both books were entertaining and stood on their own merits. This was a decent match.

However, the winner was pretty clear for me right from the beginning. While I did enjoy The Master Magician, it fell a little flat in some of the romantic style dialogue. This made pieces of the narrative feel a bit childish and underdeveloped. There was some eye rolling. Never a good sign.

While The Weight of Feathers is aimed at the same age group, it just felt more maturely written. Don't get me wrong, it still feels like a young adult novel, but it has a bit more solidity. I enjoyed the story. Retellings can sometimes be risky reads, but this one held its own just fine.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore moves on to the next round.


 vs. 


Historical fiction versus Young Adult fiction. This was another clear winner. Again, both decent reads, but one just came out ahead of the other. Orphan Train had pieces of beautiful writing, but struggled with a narrative split into two timelines. The Paper Magician was creative and highly imaginative, but did have some distracting similarities to the Harry Potter series. 

The ultimate winner won based on readability. Basically...how quickly did I read through it because I was enjoying it. Both of these did read fairly smoothly, but The Paper Magician held my attention much more consistently. So...Charlie N. Holmberg takes this section of the bracket.


 vs. 


Another of those weird pairings where comparison is seriously just awkward. Horror versus comedy memoir. I was seriously impressed with Slade House, especially given the fact that I typically don't enjoy horror reads. I was underwhelmed by Dad is Fat, most likely because I expected more given how much I enjoy his standup routines. So...obviously, Slade House is going to take the win on this one.


 vs. 


These were both good reads. A Gentleman in Moscow was a bit slow to start and took a bit for me to get into, but it's got some amazingly smart writing and I really enjoyed the characters. For taking place primarily in one location, the narrative is incredibly rich and colorful. The Bookshop on the Corner was just a good, fun, and light read. It's a book to cuddle up with on a rainy day.

I actually had to consider this one for a while. Really, it could have gone either way depending on my mood. There's two very different feels here. But, I just had more enjoyment from The Bookshop on the Corner. It was what I needed at the time I read it, so it gave me more happiness. And so, I'm giving it the win.


Right Side Bracket:

 vs. 


Again, two good books. But...this one wasn't really a challenge. Turtles All the Way Down is one of John Green's finest novels. It's real and raw. I didn't really appreciate the character of Russell Pickett...he was the one thing that felt false in the narrative, but overall...I really enjoyed this book. It's not a super happy novel, but the realism just makes it right.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is the first in Han's Summer trilogy. It's a bit of a more immature YA read, but it's still decent. It reads quick and it's probably an ideal beach read for a teen. Obviously, I'm a bit older than that age range, but I still enjoyed a nice easy read.

Turtles All the Way Down was an easy winner in this match. It really was that simple. 


 vs. 


The Lauras continued Taylor's trend of beautiful writing. She really is a talented author. But the story felt overly full to me...not something that happens often. I'm honestly not sure whether that should be something that gives the book more praise or should detract from it. For me, it just resulted in leaving me wanting more. 

Library of Souls is the final book in the Miss Peregrine series. It is packed with action and had me nervously on the edge of my seat for the majority of its pages. I stayed up super late reading it and didn't want to put it down. That made this an easy decision. Library of Souls had to be the winner for this pair.


 vs. 


Gilbert's book surprised me. I honestly didn't expect to appreciate it as much as I did. I found it incredibly applicable and somewhat inspiring. I don't read much in this particular drama...it honestly usually just stimulates a large amount of eye rolling, but I found Big Magic to be well worth the reading time.

Ransom Riggs is up for the second of his three pairings in this round. Hollow City is the second Miss Peregrine novel and holds up wonderfully. It did not fall victim to the typical sophomore novel stigma, but instead continued to wow me. I very much enjoyed it.

This was a decent match, but I knew from the second I saw the pairing which one would come out ahead. Riggs takes his second bracket in a row and Hollow City moves into the Elite Eight.


 vs. 


This is a great match-up. A Man Called Ove was a beautiful book that made me have all the feels. Seriously. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to get to know Ove. He's a fantastically written character and so full and rich that it makes the book seem as if it could easily be non-fiction. So good.

Miss Peregrine is the book that started it all for Ransom Riggs. It's a creepy little plot with an interesting premise and I found myself captivated pretty early on. It read smoothly and really didn't give me any reason to feel unsatisfied.

This was a tough decision. Both books were really good and I hated to have to say goodbye to either one. Like I said in the beginning of this post, this round is typically where things start to get ugly. And they did. I had to let one of these good reads fall by the wayside. Even after finishing the graphic for this round I continued to question which book should be the winner. This easily could have swung either direction. But the band-aid had to be pulled off. And so...it is as it had to be... Ransom Riggs officially pulls off the hat trick and Miss Peregrine moves into the next round.

And there you have it. Our field of competitors is now down to eight. The challenges now start to get really tough as we move closer to the ultimate winner. All eight of these books are ones I would highly recommend. But...we can only have one winner...so on we go...

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event originated in 2010 by The Broke and the Bookish and operated as of January 2018 by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born out of a love for lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bloggers together. Each week a new Top Ten topic is posted. After that, it's bloggers UNITE! Participate with your own Top Ten post, have fun, and get to know your fellow bloggers.
This Week's Topic:

Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Let's be honest...this could easily have grown to a list of fifteen...or twenty...or fifty. For me, as for many others, books are some of the best educators--the best sources of inspiration for the soul. But...I have whittled it down to ten of my favorites.



I love this one not because of what it means in a worldly sense, but because of what it means for the story. Jane Eyre is one of my absolutely favorite books...certainly my favorite classic. I've read it at least five times. The protagonist is strong and inspiring and I love...well, just about everything about this narrative. Just reading this sentence makes me do a little swoon.




Books are some of my favorite things. They mean so much to who I am and how I became who I am. I believe this quote wholeheartedly. And though they can leave you with so much heartache, the pink candy floss ones really are just the best.




This is the only quote on my list from a book I haven't read. I've read other Dillard works, but not The Living. Apparently I need to, because this is the epitome of explaining what books mean to me.




From here forward is where the quotes sometimes just make your soul ache. Picoult undeniably has a way with words, but this sentence ranks up there among her finest. It rings so terribly true and it's one of those lessons in life that is sometimes hard to learn.




I feel like this quote from Harper Lee could really help a lot of people be better in today's age, specifically today's political environment. People have their own beliefs. That's a given. But a lot of times those beliefs, those strong central passions, are the result of individual experience. It would do all of us a bit of good to remember that not everyone has lived life like we have. And because of that, others may have unique insights into the world that we should hear before we lash out or judge.




Alice in Wonderland is the only book--Lewis Carroll the only author--appearing on this list more than once. There are so many wonderful quotes in that book. Such a simple, silly story and yet it really is so much more than what it seems. This quote...well...it just makes me smile.




I love this one. We tend, as adults, to forget the simpler things...we tend to lose faith, to become skeptical and doubtful. It could do the world some good if we all just had a little more whimsical love for life...a little more ability to see the good and the potential around us.




This one is so applicable to me as an adult. As with the ones that follow it in this list, it teaches a lesson that took me far too long to learn. Embrace life. Don't be afraid. Just take it for what it is and take pleasure in the things around you. Come what may...




L'Engle was one of my favorite authors as a tween/early teenager. She's a brilliant author. I didn't grasp all of the lessons that her books presented to me during that period of time, but ones like this should be highlighted...shouted from the rooftops. This one is a big life lesson. 




A simple lesson so eloquently stated. I have chosen this as the inspirational quote for my bullet journal this year. And...it's another lesson that it took me oh so long to learn. It's okay to indulge yourself once in a while, but recognize when a dream is of the pipe variety. Having dreams is good, but don't just have them...pursue them. Live life to it's fullest. Participate in reality. 


Have you historically found inspiration in any of the quotes I have listed here? Would any of them have made your Top Ten? Have I egregiously overlooked any? What favorites of yours should I know about? 

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