Friday, February 17, 2012

Literary thoughts.

It's been quite a while since I participated in one of these...

But I just can't resist the opportunity to talk about books. :) Plus, there's an amazing giveaway involved (with some lovely bookish and Jane Austen inspired prizes!).

In case you didn't know, a blog party is a great way to come across new blogs written by people who have similar interests. :) You include a link to your post with answers to questions, and then you can read how other people responded. This particular one has a literary theme, and it's being hosted by Kellie. So here goes...

1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!

Hi, I'm Kristin. I'm a book nerd and I'm addicted to BBC period dramas. I like to listen to Frank Sinatra, sew, and embroider tributes to my quirky interests. I watch a lot of musicals. I used to climb into my closet (we didn't have a wardrobe, okay?), hoping to fall into Narnia. I probably would have made a much better almost-twenty-one-year-old in the 1940s rather than in 2012.

2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?

A true heroine is godly, kind, clever, humble, loving, etc. But goodness, she can't be too perfect or we won't be able to stand her. :) She has to have some flaws that I can relate to, but she should be able to recognize them and hopefully move past them.

3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

a) Lucy Pevensie {Chronicles of Narnia}. She has a childlike faith, even when she's all grown up. She trusts Aslan completely and she's joyful about life. She's honest and funny.

b) Elinor Dashwood {Sense and Sensibility}. I probably relate the most to her. We're both quiet introverts who need to open up with other people a little more. She's wiser than I am and even though she'd rather stay behind the scenes, she'll step up and take charge when necessary.

c) Elizabeth Bennet {Pride and Prejudice}. I just like her a lot, even though I'm not very much like her. She's clever and terribly honest, sometimes to the point of bluntness. Which is sometimes a good trait, and sometimes not. :)

d) Anne Elliot {Persuasion}. I love that she's loyal and constant. And even though she was easily persuaded and misled when she was younger, she recognizes her mistakes and makes an effort to change.

4. Five of your favorite historical novels?

1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
2. Emma, by Jane Austen
3. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
4. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
5. the Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?

Probably Lizzy Bennet. She's witty, kind, loyal, and honest. She speaks her mind when necessary (I'm talking about you, Lady Catherine) and won't do the "proper" thing when she knows it isn't the right thing (I'm talking about you, Mr. Collins). She loves to laugh, especially at ridiculousness. She comes from a wonderfully kooky family.

But Lizzy is tied with Emma Woodhouse. I know that Jane Austen called Emma "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like," but I like Emma lot. She's misguided and a bit of a meddler, but she means well. :) I think she's really likable and amusing.

6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?

Is it totally weird if I say someone like Mr. Collins or Mr. Woodhouse? Sure, a story needs a great heroine, a true hero, etc. But the stories wouldn't be quite the same without the strange, funny, and realistic secondary characters that make you smile or cringe. Right? :) I probably wouldn't enjoy P&P half as much if there was no Mr. Collins.

7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?

My dream vacation, if money and time were no object, would be a tour of Europe. Most of the time would be spent in England (but France, Scotland, and Italy would be nice, too). I would visit of the places associated with my favorite books and movies. The country estates where my favorite Austen adaptations were filmed, Jane Austen's house, the pub where C.S. Lewis and the Inklings met, places where Roman Holiday scenes were filmed, etc. And I would visit all of the gorgeous places I've only seen pictures of- the Yorkshire moors, English gardens, castles, the Eiffel Tower, etc. :)

8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?

My favorite time period is the 30s-60s. As for books, I really like reading about England from the Regency era through the Edwardian era.

9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?

None of the above, unless you want someone passing out on the stage. That could possibly fit in with the comedy, though.

10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?

Elinor Dashwood, just because she's the Austen heroine I relate to the most.

11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?

I wish chocolate either
a) tasted awful, or
b) was a health food. Because I eat entirely too much of it.

12. Favorite author(s)?

C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen, of course.

13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?

My journal, a camera, and some books.

14. In which century were most of the books you read written?

I really couldn't say! My reading taste is all over the place, from Austen to modern memoirs.

15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…

If I list all of the good and admirable qualities of my favorite literary heroes, they describe one person: Jesus. So that would seem to be the answer. If we're talking only fictional heroes, then either Mr. Knightley or Mr. Darcy.

16. Describe your ideal dwelling place.

A typical old southern farmhouse. A long, tree-lined driveway. The house is two stories, with a wrap-around porch and a tin roof. There's a little orchard off to one side (I just love that most old farmhouses had an orchard), and a tire swing hanging from a tree in the front yard. Plenty of huge, ancient trees on the property. The inside would be vintage style, with a yellow kitchen and a library with a rolling ladder and lots of windows.

17. Sum up your fashion style in five words.

Ha. What fashion style? :) I don't have a cohesive style. But if I did, it would be vintage, feminine, quirky, comfortable, and simple.

18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?

I'm sure I have (I'm really into names), but I can't think of any at the moment.

19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...

I don't actually read a lot of literature with dastardly villains. :) But one who stands out to me is Mr. Brocklehurst, of Jane Eyre. Such a slimy, evil man. And the absolute worst part of it is that he thinks himself a religious man of God. Ugh.

Another obvious choice here would be Lord Voldemort.

And if we were discussing a mini series instead of literature, have you ever known a more dastardly duo than O'Brien and Thomas? I didn't think so.

20. Three favorite nonfiction books?

1. Paperdoll, by Natalie Lloyd
2. The Wilder Life, by Wendy McClure
3. My Life in France, by Julia Child

21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?

Reading outside on a front porch swing, embroidering while watching a favorite movie, and eating a huge bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. :)

22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. pressure. :) I don't wear hats, but I've always liked the look of a cloche. I think it would be amazing if hats for women came back into everyday use like they were in the past.

{I've always liked Jean Arthur's Peter Pan-ish hat in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."}

23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.

I survived a required public speaking class, I graduated from college, and I made a quilt. {See more highlights here.}

24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." -1 Timothy 6:6

Until next time,


  1. I love this! Great answer to #15. And if you lived at #16 I would definitely want to come visit you. The description of the house actually reminds me a bit of Green Gables. Although I don't think they had a sliding ladder! I am just now reading Pride & Prejudice for the first time and it's really fun! Oh, and I definitely want hats to come back into style--classy ones, not the tacky ones! And I just saw that you watched The Moon-Spinners! That movie is so fun! I hope you liked it. :)

  2. How perfectly delightful to "meet" a fellow classic film and Frank Sinatra enthusiast! =)
    I loved reading your answers! Mr. Collins is totally one of my very favorite characters in P&P. Oh, Mr. Brocklehurst is definitely a dastardly villain! He makes me shudder.
    Your thoughts on chocolate were perfect:)

  3. Oh goodness Kristin, I'm so with you almost ALL of that!! haha! Loooove C.S. Lewis and everything about Jane. My mom just gave me a book called A Jane Austen Devotional. You should look it up, you would love it!
    Oh and can I pleeeease come live with you on your little plot of land? made me think of something out of Anne of Green Gables!

  4. Haha, chocolate! I don't eat too much of it, but then... hm... when I DO have it, then I do. So I can relate! Mint and chocolate chip ice cream? Oh my.
    And I'm not sure why Lucy never made it to my list, because she's definitely one of my favourite heroines! I just can't relate to her so much I guess - I mean, there are others I relate to more.
    And Yorkshire moors. Why have I not thought of that? Well, it's not exactly a dream vacation. But come to think of it, if I were really visiting the UK, I'd love to visit there, too.

  5. Love the chocolate answer! We have a lot of the same favorites. :)

  6. Oh! Somebody else who want's a rolling library ladder!

    Lovely answers, you wouldn't be the only one passing out on stage. If I didn't pass out, I would be wishing I could. :)

  7. Wow Kristin we are a lot alike! I've always wanted to go on a tour of Europe! That's so neat that we both love "Persuasion" and "Jane Eyre"! Mr. Brocklehurst was SO irritating! I was so glad when I got past him in the book! Oh my goodness I totally agree about chocolate and mint chocolate chip ice cream! DANGEROUSLY DELCIOUS! *smile* Your house sounds exactly like what I have envisioned my dream house to be in my mind! (Especially the yellow kitchen and library!) It would be absolutely perfect if it was beside the ocean, but that is one part of my dream house that is probably just a lovely dream!

    It was so nice to "meet" you Kirsten! I am VERY glad I joined this party!

    Have a blessed day in Jesus!

    ~Miss Purity

    @ Keep thy Heart with all Diligence

  8. I loved your description of what makes a true heroine, they really can be too perfect sometimes!
    I'm happy to be discovering so many other Anne Elliot fans, I never found anyone who'd even read Persuasion before!
    Lastly, Downton Abbey ROCKS!!!!

  9. Mr. Collins - the perfect secondary character! We love to hate him, yet he has such a quantity of humanity about him that we can't help but smile, too... "Strange, funny, and realistic secondary characters that make you smile or cringe" - are indispensable to a good story. Absolutely:)

    Rolling library ladder... yes! Your dream house sounds sublime. I enjoyed your post so much!

  10. great answers... come to Romania here are many intersting places..if you will visit Europe.

  11. Ha ha! I LOVE that you like Mr. Collins. I do too! He makes me laugh. :D We have a lot of favorite heroines in common, as well as the cloche hat. I love that you added the Little House books to your list. :D

    And yes, Mr. Brocklehurst. Quite.


Please feel free to leave a comment, I love to read them! :) I reply to each one, so be sure to check back, especially if you asked a question.