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Aug. 28th, 2011

musketeers: but you told me i'm golden


Discussion Post: Emily's Quest

1. Let's get this out of the way at the top so that I don't ask all the questions about it. Dean Priest: worst or worst ever? How much did you want to punch him in the face for lying to Emily about her book being terrible and how much did you want to punch him again when he took advantage of her injury to get her to marry him?
2. We talked a lot about whether or not the number of suitors Anne had was ridiculous, but I think Emily had way more proposals. How ridiculous did you find them?
3. Over the course of the book, Ilse, Perry, Emily, and Teddy's friendships grow and stretch and change as time and distance separates them. Did you find it a reasonably realistic portrayal of what can happen to friendships when people scatter to the winds?
4. Ilse and Emily: how badly did you think that Ilse violated the girl code by agreeing to marry Teddy in the first place? Or did you think she genuinely didn't know/understand how Teddy and Emily felt about each other?
5. Which of Emily's books would you rather have read, The Moral of the Rose or A Seller of Dreams?
6. Emily calling to Teddy on the Flavian: creepy, romantic, or creepily romantic?
7. How badly did you want to shake both Emily and Teddy over the course of the book? They both knew and yet they never managed to overcome their selves to get it together? Does it make you sad to think about how much time they wasted?
8. Were you reasonably satisfied with how the romantic entanglements sorted themselves out? Do you think that after all that Ilse and Perry and then Teddy and Emily can be happy together?
9. Finally, how much do you love this line:
"Don't tell me you can't love me--you can--you must--why, Emily"--his eyes had met the moonlit brilliance of hers for a moment--"you do."

Aug. 24th, 2011

(sv) sweeping a girl off her feet


Next Sunday: Emily's Quest

Hi folks! Here's your last "next week" post, and it's late. Sorry about that! We'll be discussing the final book of the Emily series, Emily's Quest, on Sunday, August 28, in a post by empressearwig.

Lucy Maud Montgomery took a break from Emily between Book 2 and 3 to publish The Blue Castle in 1926; this one came out the following year, in 1927. The books spans many years: Emily starts at 17 and ends at 28. You can read the book on Project Gutenberg here.

Happy reading!

Aug. 21st, 2011

arrow; hacking is such an ugly word


Discussion Post - Emily Climbs

Hey everyone! Sorry this is going up late. My weekend has not gone as expected. ANYWAY, I hope everyone has been enjoying Emily of New Moon as much as Anne of Green Gables. This is actually my first time reading Emily, so I'm really glad I had this community to motivate me!

1. What did you think of book overall compared to Emily of New Moon? Did you like it more or less?
2. Did you think the bargain Emily had to make with Aunt Elizabeth in order to go to school was fair? Would you have been able to make a similar promise if you were in Emily's shoes?
3. What about the new setting and living with Aunt Ruth? Did you miss New Moon, or were Emily's trips home enough for you? What did you think of Aunt Ruth in general, now that we got to see her up close?
4. What did you think of Emily's relationships with her New Moon relatives, especially Cousin Jimmy? What about Teddy Kent and Mrs. Kent?
5. Dean: creepier now than in the first book, or just misunderstood?
6. Outside of Dean, what did you think of Emily's relationships with the other boys: Teddy, Perry, and even Andrew?
7. Which moments from this book stand out to you as favorites? For those of you who are rereading this, have your favorite moments changed any?
8. What did you think about Emily turning down the job with Miss Royal and staying in New Moon? Did you want her to go, or were you glad that she stayed?

Aug. 15th, 2011

(sv) sweeping a girl off her feet


Next week: Emily Climbs

Hi fellow readers! We'll continue to read Emily's story next week with Emily Climbs. The discussion post will be up on Sunday, August 21st, by spyglass_ (if that still works for you?).

The book was released in 1925, two years after New Moon, and it follows Emily through her teenage years. Like the other two, it's very autobiographical (maybe because LMM was copying her journal from her early years at the time of writing).

Can't wait to discuss it with you all!

Aug. 14th, 2011

(anne) and vision of things not seen


Discussion post: Emily of New Moon

Hi everyone! Welcome to our discussion of Emily of New Moon. I hope some of you had the time to read it - I feel like the schedule was a bit shorter for this series! As always, feel free to come back to older discussion posts if you read the books a little later, discussions are always welcome! Now on to the questions.

1. First, as usual, did you like the book? If it's a reread, does it hold up to what you thought on your first reading(s)?
2. What did you think of Emily? Of her elven ears, her need to write, etc.? Did you find her as compelling as, say, Anne or Valancy?
3. Did you ever feel something like the flash? (I know LMM did. She describes something pretty identical in her journals.)
4. Compare Emily and Isle's friendship to Anne and Diana's. Would you prefer the constant love declarations or would the bickering seem livelier?
5. What about the boys, Teddy and Perry? Do you like them? Any favorites? Would you rather go for a future premier or for toast and bacon and marmelade?
6. Dean Priest- a good friend? Or a creepy one?
7. What did you think of Ilse's mother, and Emily's second sight? Do you believe in phenomenons like this at all?
8. Did you like New Moon and its inhabitants? What do you think of the Murrays?
*. This is more of a personal curiosity than a discussion question - anybody watch the TV adaptation? Is is any good?

Aug. 8th, 2011

(anne) and vision of things not seen


Next week: Emily of New Moon

Hi everyone! The summer's ending soonish, and it's now time to start on our last series of the summer. I hope many of you will join me in discussing Emily of New Moon on Sunday, August 14.

Lucy Maud Montgomery started working on Emily right after Rilla of Ingleside, and the first book was published in 1923. The author has often said that Emily is her favorite heroine, possibly because they're much alike (orphans, hard childhoods with unloving relatives, intense desire/need to write). I personally loved reading these books when I was around 13, but I haven't revisited them since, and I can't wait to see how they hold up. Hope to see you there!

Jul. 31st, 2011

aogg; anne and gil


The Blue Castle Discussion Post

Hi guys!

Hope everybody's been having a good past few weeks!  Sorry this is a bit late.  I got distracted earlier today, and now LJ isn't letting me post anything, which is annoying.  Also, I spent an embarssingly long amount of time trying to find a picture of my copy of this book, only to decide that one doesn't exist on the internet that is bigger than a thumbnail. Especially since I've decided not to try linking the cover, since LJ is already having some issues.  Hopefully this post goes up sometime today...

Anyway, the book. 

It’s the only one of LMM’s novels that doesn’t have P.E.I. as a setting at some point, though it does still take place mostly on an island.  I’ve also heard it’s one of her two novels intended for a more adult audience (the other is A Tangled Web), while most of her books were originally intended for young adults.  And it is my favourite of all of her novels.  I love this book so very much.  It just makes me happy, so I hope everyone else loved it too.

I’ve come up with a few questions.  As always, feel free to answer as many as you like.  Or to talk about other things.

1.  Let’s start with Valancy herself.  Do you find her a bit blah at the start?  A bit irritating?  She is a basically a complete doormat.  It doesn’t bother me, but during this reread, I could see how it might not make her the most likeable heroine.

2.  Barney rushing over to rescue Valancy from the dance, and their resultant night in the woods, best thing ever?

3.  Do you like the romance between Valancy/Barney, or does it feel contrived and too perfect?  (After all, not only is he her favourite author, but he’s conveniently a millionaire as well.)

4.  What do you think of the Stirlings in general?  Are there any you especially like?  Any you especially dislike?

5.  The Stirlings, an accurate portrait of a large family?  Or does the mockery of Valancy get a little mean-spirited?  Or both?

6.  What do you think of the addition of the character of Cissy Gay?  She’s a rare character in these books in that her life is genuinely pretty bleak from beginning to end.  What do you think she adds to the book?

7.  Do you think Cissy knew that Valancy loved Barney?

8.  This is one of the books that makes me realize how much I love LMM’s narration.  One of my favourite lines of this whole books is, “There was a convenient gate-post hard by.  Cousin Georgiana took firm hold of it.”  Just because it makes me laugh each and every time.  I don’t know why.  Do you have any particular favourites.

9.  Do you think everybody has a Blue Castle?

10.  “People who wanted to be alone, so Mrs. Frederick Stirling and Cousin Stickles believed, could only want to be alone for some sinister purpose.”  Any truth to this?

11.  Would you want to live in a cabin in the Muskokas all alone, even if it was with the person you loved?

12.  What do you think of Doc Redfern?  Will Valancy and Barney still be happy with their millions?

Jul. 25th, 2011

(sv) sweeping a girl off her feet


Next week: The Blue Castle

And we're back! Next week we'll be discussing one of my favorite Lucy Maud Montgomery books, The Blue Castle. The discussion post by h_loquacious will go up on Sunday, July 31st.

The Blue Castle was released in 1926. It's considered one of the only "adult" novels of LMM, with A Tangled Web. It's also interesting to note that it's the only book of hers that is not set on Prince Edward Island, although there is a quite prominent island in it too.

I know that this is probably going to be a first read for a lot of people! It's available online through Project Gutenberg if you don't own it.

I can't wait to hear what y'all think of Valancy!

Jul. 3rd, 2011

(anne) and vision of things not seen


Discussion Post: The Blythes Are Quoted

Hi everyone! Welcome to our final discussion of the Anne series, on The Blythes Are Quoted. I know some of you didn't manage to get your hands on it, so I tried to make some questions more about the short stories that you can also find in The Road To Yesterday, although I don't know if they have as much Blythes references as the ones in The Blythes Are Quoted. Answer them as you wish, even if you didn't read both! I'll mark the spoilers for TBAQ-specific things.

1. What was your reaction to having one more book in the Anne series? If this isn't the first time you read it, do you remember how you felt when you discovered it? Do you consider it part of the series, or superfluous? Did you like it?

2. My copy's back cover makes a big deal of how this book is darker than the rest of what LMM wrote (Adultery, illegitimacy, revenge, murder, and death - these are not the first terms we associate with L.M. Montgomery.). Did you find it noticeably darker than the Anne series? Darker than other LMM books, if you read them?

3. What about the war? Do you feel that the triumphant pro-war message of Rilla of Ingleside has lessened? (TBAQ spoiler) Did you feel chills as Anne said she was thankful that Walter did not come back?

4. The numerous Blythe references - funny, weird, annoying, interesting? Were you surprised that not everybody seemed to like them and some references were quite venomous?

5. Are you happy to get more info on what happened to our Blythes? Jem and Walter Jr, Gilbert Ford, Di Meredith, Di's mysterious beau... Did you want more?

6. Did you like the format in The Blythes Are Quoted? What did you think of the poems and the vignettes?

7. I won't ask questions about each short story, because that would take ages, but - favorite story? Least favorite? Isn't Some Fools And A Saint super creepy? Any thoughts on how LMM sort of twisted her favorite theme of families reuniting in An Afternoon With Mr. Jenkins, though she played it more straight up in a few other stories? Did you notice any other recurring themes from the series? Why does everybody talk about Susan Baker?

On a mod note, we'll take a break for a few weeks while I go visit the old Island myself! We'll come back on July 31st with The Blue Castle, and I can't wait to see your thoughts on it! In the meantime, if you were late to the party, feel free to check out the discussion post tag to join the discussion on books as you catch up. I'd also appreciate having some help for the discussion posts on the Emily books in August, if anyone wants to come forward. Happy reading!

Jun. 29th, 2011

(sv) sweeping a girl off her feet


Next Sunday: The Blythes Are Quoted

Our discussion of the Anne series is coming to a close! The ninth and final volume is a new one for many fans, and a bit of an oddity. We will discuss The Blythes Are Quoted on Sunday, July 3rd. (Nothing better than some anti-war sentiment for Canada Day weekend!)

The manuscript of The Blythes Are Quoted was completed just before LMM's death. (There are some spooky stories that it appeared at her publisher on the very day she died, but I can't confirm that.) The publisher was probably a bit disturbed by the unusual format and the heavy anti-war sentiment, especially with the country at war again for WWII, and didn't publish it. A much-abridged version came out in 1974 under the title The Road to Yesterday - it contained only the short stories, with the exception of the first one, Some Fools and a Saint. The complete version was finally released in 2009. It includes poems (by Anne and Walter), vignettes of the Blythe family, and the short stories. The Blythes aren't the main characters in the short stories, but they are "quoted" in it (sometimes to absurd levels, heh). Half of it is set between Anne and Rilla of Ingleside, and the second half brings us from WWI to WWII.

I'm not going to lie to you, it's a bit of a weird book, with a much darker tone than the rest of the series. I'll make the discussion post on Sunday and I'll try to ask questions for those who only read The Road to Yesterday too, although I personally never read it.

See you Sunday!

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