The Bell Jar :: Sign Ups & Starting Post

For July, I’ve chosen The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

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I’m posting the reading schedule (which will help you get through the novel on time). Below is the starting video for this read-a-long. At the end of the month (around August 28th), I’ll post a closing video with my thoughts so we can have a discussion of what we thought about the book! During the reading I’m going to open a Glassboard forum to discuss the book. If you would like to be able to access the forum, please let me know here. This will be a place where we can keep the discussion going throughout the month. You can access this forum through your computer or through the free smartphone app. (Please make sure to sign up with Glassboard with the same e-mail address you give me on the sign up form.) Glassboard is very easy to get the hang of, don’t let it discourage you from participating in the read-a-long or discussion! And don’t hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments section below!

 

Reading Schedule

This book is 200 pages, which means we’ll read 50 pages per week/ about 7 pages per day.

Week One: Stop at Chapter Six

Week Two: Stop at Chapter Eleven

Week Three: Stop at Chapter Fifteen

Week Four: Read till the end.

Any questions? Feel free to ask below!

 

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Here is the final post for The Virgin Suicides (feel free to weigh in even if you weren’t participating in the read-a-long but have read the book)…

I loved it, did you love it? I mean, I LOOOOVVVVEEEEDDDD it.

I put all of my thoughts down below in the video, but I am going to post some of my favorite quotes from the book here in this post (quotes are better read in a post than watched in a video, no?).

Last night, I re-watched the movie adaptation and I have to say, not only did I forget how incredibly well done, perfectly casted (the boys! I adore the boys, not just the Lisbon girls), and dreamy with those gorgeous aesthetics, I didn’t realize (how could I until I read the book?) how spot on the movie was! Except for the part that I mention in the video, Sofia Coppola kept SO CLOSE to the books… not only with plot lines, but also with the working. I was very happy and impressed that she not only did that, but did it while keeping the film such a reasonable length.

My biggest question (that I forgot to mention in the video) is why did the girls have the boys come by that night? I can’t figure it out. They didn’t need witnesses… their parents would have sufficed. They didn’t need anyone to call the ambulance, they were trying to die (one was already gone by the time the boys got there anyway). Thoughts? I’d really love to hear what you think. 

 

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Can I just say it again… what a fantastic story. It’s love for me.

(Also, I want this edition of the book… isn’t it perfect?)

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Favorite Quotes:

  • Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds… “What are you doing here, honey? You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.”… “Obviously, Doctor,” she said, you’ve never been a thirteen year-old girl.”
  • …but sometimes, after one of us had read a long portion of the diary out loud, we had to fight back the urge to hug one another or to tell each other how pretty we were. We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.
  • Dear whoever,
    Tell Trip I’m over him.
    He’s a creep.
    Guess Who
  • (The entire sequence of phone calls playing songs to each other)
  • Like everyone else, we went to Alice O’Connor’s coming-out party to forget about the Lisbon girls… Inside we got to know girls who had never considered taking their own lives… Drunk, and kissing us, or passing out in chairs, they were bound for college, husbands, child-rearing, unhappiness only dimly perceived – bound, in other words, for life.
  • It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and they hadn’t heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the treehouse, with out thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.

 

Get Your Travel On: Paris Edition

Hi all! I’m back with another video! If you happen to have a google account (which is basically the same thing as a YouTube account) and want to subscribe to my new channel in YouTube, I’d love it! (No pressure, of course.) I’ll be posting videos here, but depending on what the schedule turns into, I may not post all of them. If you want to get to YouTube to check the list of books I’ve mentioned,  you can click through by clicking the title of this video, and it will take you to the site. Also, you can find me at youtube.com/wallaceyovetich. Thanks for watching!

The Virgin Suicides :: Week Two

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This is the second check-in for The Virgin Suicides. Remember that this is not going to be as structured as Read-a-Longs have been in the past, so if you haven’t read to the end of this week’s reading, that’s ok but beware that there may be spoilers in the comments section.

This week our goal was to make it to page 121  at the paragraph that begins, “The girls were smiling as they entered the gymnasium amid the glowing pumpkins and scarecrows dressed in school colors.” Did you make it there?

Feel free to weigh in below in the comments… if you’ve gone past this week’s reading, please be mindful not to mention any spoilers. Thanks!

The Virgin Suicides :: Week One

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Good morning! This is the first check-in for The Virgin Suicides. Remember that this is not going to be as structured as Read-a-Longs have been in the past, so if you haven’t read to the end of this week’s reading, that’s ok but beware that there may be spoilers in the comments section.

This week our goal was to make it to page 63 at the paragraph that begins, “We spoke to them in snatches, each of us adding a sentence to a communal conversation.” Did you make it there?

What are you thinking so far? I’ve read a few of Eugenides books and this one is by far my favorite. In fact, I make myself slow down to really enjoy his writing because it is SO GOOD. The story is interesting, of course, but I also really find myself in awe of how he is telling the story.

Feel free to weigh in below in the comments… if you’ve gone past this week’s reading, please be mindful not to mention any spoilers. Thanks!

The Virgin Suicides :: Sign Ups & Starting Post

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Here is an attempt at a manageable Read-a-Long for summer. I know that some of you miss the Read-a-Longs and I am hoping to find a way to do them without feeling overwhelmed (or like I am only reading books I am having to/supposed to read). So, I’ve found a group of books that I’ve been wanting to read… each would take only a month to finish. I’ll try this out in July, and see how it goes – if well, I’ll continue on, if not, I can still give you reading schedules so that if you’d like to read them you can have the reading broken down for you!

Here is how this will work: If you’d like to be part of the Read-a-Long, go ahead and sign up below. I’m posting the reading schedule (which will only be to help you get through the novel, not for discussions), and we’ll chat about it at the end in a big discussion post.

A few things… the weekly discussion post is too much for me at the moment, but I’m happy to put up a post each Monday checking in just so that people can discuss if they want, and have a place where they are checking in for accountability sake. OR I can just do the discussion post at the end and assume you are still reading. Either way is fine with me… which would you rather? Also, either way there WILL be a discussion post at the end of the month (on the last Monday, which is July 28th).

For June, I’ve chosen The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. (Note: the link contains spoilers towards the end of the page.)

The reading break down is different than usual, since the chapters are wonky-long (there are only five), I’ve had to do my best to find break points. I have the Picador edition, so am using those page numbers, but am also putting the first sentence of the stopping paragraph (meaning, when you get to this paragraph STOP, do not keep reading, you are finished for the week). That way, you can find the right page-ish, and hopefully find the stopping paragraph from there. Oh Jeffrey… he isn’t making it easy for us this time.

This book is 243 pages, which means we’ll read 60 pages per week/ 9 pages per day.

Week One: Stop on page 63 at the paragraph that begins, “We spoke to them in snatches, each of us adding a sentence to a communal conversation.”

Week Two: Stop on page 121 at the paragraph that begins, “The girls were smiling as they entered the gymnasium amid the glowing pumpkins and scarecrows dressed in school colors.”

Week Three: Stop at page 180 at the paragraph that begins, “Though we felt for the Lisbon girls, and continued to think about them, they were slipping away from us.”

Week Four: Read till the end.

Any questions? Feel free to ask below. Here is the tentative schedule for the rest of the year if this month goes well and I can keep up!

 

I’m Back! (And I bring and offering of mini-reviews…)

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Heeellllooooo! Long time no see, eh?

Happy summer… I hope you are all enjoying yours so far. I’ve been getting a lot of reading done lately. So, I’ll do mini-reivews for the books I’ve read in the past few weeks (but can’t even remember all of the books I’ve read since I’ve last posted… note to self: good reason for keeping the blog in the first place).

Mini-Reviews:

Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes: Light and fluffy and light and fluffy… with a little boring here and there, but ultimately an easy breezy literary equivalent of a reality TV show.

Debutant Divorcée by Plum Sykes: Stupid, but I did finish it (kind of, I actually skimmed this one because I already had it from the library and, why not?).

The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Radziwill: I can’t decide on this one. I actually had a couple of cross country flights recently where I watched the episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City that Carole Radziwill is in, and I was having a bit of deja-vu (but not as much as after I read her memoir… am glad I read this first)… she uses a lot of the same lines. Entertaining, but less so than I’d hoped for.

What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by Carole Radziwill: After reading this, it was obvious to me how much of Widow’s Guide was autobiographical. Now, let’s set that aside. This is my favorite read of the summer so far. It helps that I am interested in her (and the Kennedys). I finished this quickly. I recommend finding a copy of this one – it’s worth the read, but have a tissue on hand for the end.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (out in September): Got an early copy of this in New York at BEA, and got to meet Wolitzer as well (which is fun, I’m a fan). I’ll write more about this closer to the publication date – no use getting you amped until you can buy it. But it’s YA, and it’s pretty good. I was hooked almost all of the way through, but I’ll explain more later.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (out July 8th): Just as people are starting to think of Rowell as a YA writer, she brings it back with another adult novel (Attachements, her first novel, was for adults). A study of a marriage in pure fast-paced, Gilmore Girls-esque writing. Including a magic phone that calls the past and helps the protagonist be a little more introspective about herself and her marriage. On the surface this is light and fun, but you’ll find yourself thinking more deeply than you anticipated. It took me almost a hundred pages to get into it (I admit) but after that I gobbled it up in only one or two more sittings. More on this one soon too.

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What have you been reading?