Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Joy's Q&A: Day 1


     Joy at her blog is hosting a special event this week in honor of her blog's 3rd birthday.  You can read about it in her post here. 


     For today's part of her party, I am answering some questions.  Here they go:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!
     There is so much more to a person than can be introduced in a little paragraph!  So I will content myself with listing 3 things that you probably did not know about me.
     a. I work at unusual hours.  At my job, I have regular hours (something like 8am to 6pm on one or two days a week) but I also am on call 24/7.  That means at any time day or night, I could be called in.  And when I am called in, there is no guarantee of when I will return home (it may be a few hours or it may be several days).  How's that for a schedule!
     b. I want to be multilingual someday.  At the moment, I speak English and am starting to learn Spanish.
     c. I like running and climbing and catching things that people throw at me.  I have also recently discovered I love canoeing.
2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?
     I feel like I am fairly eclectic.  It will be easier to tell you what I don't like.
     First of all, I don't like books that set your imagination down the wrong path.  This has nothing to do with whether or not a book would be fun to read but is based on what I think is right.  Horror, certain magic, certain romances, strife, etc. would fall into this category.  This would apply to my writing as well.
     Secondly are the genre's that are okay in small quantities. 
          For example:
          This is personal preference, I know, but I get tired of some "inspirational" stories.  I'm not talking about Christian stories, necessarily, but the ones that are mushy-gushy inspirational.  I might read one every now and again, but they get very "blah" for me in large quantities.  Don't buy me a year-long subscription to Guideposts.  I prefer inspirational stories with a little more action.
3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?
     I suppose it depends on which classic we are talking of.  ;)  I suppose I favor the old books more than the new, but I read a mix of both.
4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era?
     I couldn't answer this one.  There are things to like and dislike about any setting and period.  I am glad to be living now, but I would have been happy anywhere.
5.. List three of your favourite classic authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very early 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
     I love Dickens.  I love the way he words things, respecting the reader's intellect to be able to understand him.  I love the way he weaves his stories and the way he ties the strands together at the end.  I love the way he makes me laugh and cry and think.
     I like Laura Ingalls Wilder.  She captured an era for me.  And hers were the books that could be read at any age.
     I took me a long time to understand or enjoy Jane Austen, but I find her delightful now.
     Mark Twain makes me laugh.
     Robert Louis Stevenson, at least what I have read of him, seems to combine action and morals in a satisfying way.
     Louisa May Alcott is a joy to read, and I feel like I shall be especially wholesome and hardworking after I read them. ;)  Sadly, it is easy to neglect one's own duties while reading about the dutiful girls in her books.
   And my list goes on!!!  Oh, why did you say only three???
6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
     I am not sure.
7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself?
     Esther, from Bleak House -- she is so good, so wise in her dealing with others.  (Disclaimer: I have only seen the BBC movie)
     Sissy, from Hard Times -- what a stifling world she was thrown into, and yet she managed to change it.  She touched the lives of everyone in that family for the better.
8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
     I liked Pa from the Little House books.  He was such a good Pa, and he loved his little half-pint (aka, his daughter, Laura).
     I liked Demetrius from The Robe.  He had all the potential of wealth and greatness and it was turned upside-down, forcing him into slavery.  Then he was a fighter and extremely smart and discerning.  He threw himself whole-heartedly into serving his master, becoming the sort of man you would want to have at your back.  And when he found Jesus, he became even more awesome.  You would rightly say that technically Marcellus was the hero, but I think Demetrius was.
     I liked Mr. Darcy in that he had this fault of shyness and was misunderstood in public circles while he was greatly loved by those who knew him (like his servants back home).  He made mistakes -- I think he could have handled Wickham better (perhaps) and certainly could have handled Bingley's heart better.  I also like the fact that he didn't just give up on Lizzie, hating her for turning him down, and that he did those things for her sister even though he did not expect Lizzie to change her mind regarding him.
9. List your favourite "classic" novels. . . (as this is a painful question, you may list more than one!)
     Oliver Twist
     The Little House books
     Pride and Prejudice
     Sense and Sensibility
     Huckleberry Finn
     Tom Sawyer
     Treasure Island
     The Count of Monte Cristo
     The Swiss Family Robinson
     Robinson Crusoe
     White Fang
     The Call of the Wild
     Lad, A Dog (and other Lad books)
     Bob, Son of Battle
     (all of Louisa May Alcott's books)
     The Five Little Peppers
     The Robe
     Ben-Hur
     (all of James Herriot's books)
     Robin Hood
     Heidi
     (Grandma's Attic books)
     ...yeah, this list is getting to long, too.  So I'll stop now.
10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?
     I like BBC, for I feel that they fall under both "faithful" and "exciting".  I tend to like versions from the 80's, 90's, and 2000's.  The primitive filming techniques from the very old versions are a distraction to me, and most of the very old version are not, in my opinion, very faithful.
11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
     Bible
12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.
     I can't answer this with my time restraints, but I will say that I like:
          Prairie dresses
          Mid-1800s dresses with the small waist and big skirts
          and the comfortable skirts and shirts of the women on a Mexican rancho.
13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?
     Fairly accurate, but yes to the second question.
14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
     I can't pick one!
15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
     Not sure at the moment...
16. How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them?
     I have read Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol.  And I have watched the BBC movies for Little Dorrit, Bleak House, and Our Mutual Friend.
     I started to watch Chuzzlewit and I got bored with it.  So I suppose some may bore me, but the ones I have read leave me enthusiastically loving his stories.
17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskall?
     I have only read Austen so far.
18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
     A Tale of Two Cities?  The Scarlett Pimpernell?
19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton?
     I haven't read North and South yet...
20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
     This is a tough question.  I like Swiss Family Robinson for this.  And I am sure there are others.
21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre?
     I liked Charlie in Oliver Twist because he turns from his life of thieving and becomes a good man.
     I liked Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice for his sense of humor.
     I didn't much care for Jane Fairfax in Emma until I saw the new movie with Romola as Emma.  In that movie, I fell in love with secondary characters: Jane Fairfax, John Knightly, even Miss and Mrs. Bates.
22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
     Bleak House
     Little Dorrit
     Our Mutual Friend
     Count of Monte Cristo (again...it has been a long time since I last read it)
     Good Wives (again...it has also been a long time since I read it and I just finished Little Women for the upteenth time)
23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
     I don't know which was first.  I know for a fact that I read Oliver Twist when I was 9 years old or younger, and I did not get the sarcasm at all.
24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?
     I personally feel that a lot of modern literature is "dummied" down, and I love to read a well-written story that makes me think.  Plus, the old literature sometimes seems more epic -- perhaps because they wrote better or perhaps because they "lived" more.  There is nothing like personal experience to make a story more real.
    Classics have 3 special qualities that make them worth passing on to future generations:
     a. Because we should learn from history, the classics give us a picture of the past that will hopefully serve as warning and encouragement for our future.
     b. Because they have stood the test of time, the classic tend to be well-written.  They were the authors worth reading.  Some of our books today have not proven themselves over time.  A GOOD book should be passed on, and many of the classics are good books.  Why not pass them on?
     c. Because we love to pass on the things that influenced us for good, we will pass on the classics.  Just as I will tell my grandchildren about the things my own grandfather taught me and just as I will insist they know the stories that I loved when I was their age, so I will likely pass on certain classics to my children.
     On the flip side, no book should be passed on just because somebody somewhere has titled it a classic.

    So there are my answers to her questions!
    She is also hosting a giveaway.  If you are interested, head over to her blog (Fullness of Joy).

2 comments:

  1. Here I am at last! Thanks so much for joining in the tag and participating in this party, Esther. I so enjoyed reading your responses to the questions and getting to know more about you :).

    I love Louisa May Alcott and Robert Louis Stevenson a lot too - oh, my! You've read The Robe !! It was one of my favorite novels when I was younger :)). I really love Demetrius a lot too .

    Wow, you really put well about why it is good to read classics, critic them just like any other fallible book, but also learn from them and enjoy them.

    Thank you so much for joining in and I do hope you can participate in the other tags as I write them :).
    Blessings,
    Joy <3

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  2. The hardest thing was keeping my lists short. ;) There are other authors and books that should be on there as well.
    I am looking forward to your next tags!

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