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Posts Categorized: Read-a-Long

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hour 8 Mini-Challenge: Book Spine Poetry #readathon

Posted by Irish in Contest, Read-a-Long100 Comments

Dewey Readathon



Hello and welcome to hour EIGHT of Dewey’s Read-a-thon!  I hope that you are still going strong and reading though lots of good books and that your eyes aren’t getting tired. Though maybe that is why you are here visiting me as I am your mini-challenge host for this hour and we are doing one of my favorite challenges of read-a-thon past…BOOK SPINE POETRY! 

The challenge rules:

  • Using the titles on book spines, make a short poem at least three “books” long/tall.
  • Don’t worry about form or meter or rhyming or anything like that.  Just have fun!
  • Take a picture of your book spine poem, post it on your blog/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/etc., then paste the permalink to that post in the comments to this post.
  • This challenge will run for THREE hours and I will choose a winner randomly from the entries…unless one of them really speaks to me in some fashion. No matter what it will be totally arbitrary but hopefully fun times for all! (If I crash before the contest ends then I will choose a winner the moment I wake up again)
  • The winner will get to choose one item from the epic readathon prize list 

Here is an example of the book spine poetry entry that I did last read-a-thon and it took me less than 10 minutes to do using books in my read-a-thon pile and a nearby bookshelf.


Book Spine Poetry


Once we were

the broken hearted.

Splinterd fragments. Unraveling

in the after.

Dreamless shadows

in the silence.


So go forth and make some poetry! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!



The winner of the book spine poetry is Shannon from Leaning Lights! Congratulations!!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

North and South Read-a-Long: Week 3 Update

Posted by Irish in Read-a-Long4 Comments


About the Read-a-Long
Week 1 Update
Week 2 Update

This weeks update covers chapters 21 to 30 of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South.

One thing that I love about this story is that there is always something happening and if my heart isn’t racing then its probably breaking. In these next ten chapters my heart gets pulled through so many different emotions. They start off with a bang and a riot of the millworkers on Marlborough Mills. The same mills that are owned by Mr Thornton which are very near to his house. And of course Margaret chooses that that day to go and visit with Mrs Thornton in order to ask to borrow a water bed for her ill mother. Margaret is still dealing with coming to terms with a new view of the Thornton’s and her mother’s increasingly poor health that she is all out of sorts on the visit. She is also quite sympathetic to the cause of the millworkers as a result of her friendship with Bessy Higgins.

Margaret also has a heart and a growing conscience that defies class and what should and shouldn’t be done. So when she sees the danger that Mr Thornton is in from the rioters she tries to protect him by standing between him & them in the hopes that the workers won’t risk hurting a woman. Unfortunately she is injured and those in the Thornton household that see put a more romantic spin on the why because they can’t imagine someone doing something so risky just because. Which then leads to a scene that just makes my heart break. when Mr Thornton declares his love for Margaret and asks for her hand. Its such a wonderful scene in the book though because the reader gets to see Mr Thornton’s thoughts…this is something that you don’t get in the miniseries although Richard Armitage does such an amazing job in this scene as well conveying so much without saying much. Ah…swoon.

And Margaret, dear sweet Margaret, really does know how to crush a soul. It just makes a reader want to cry. Though at the same time you know that she isn’t in the same place as Mr Thornton. She’d only really just started to notice him after all. A noticing which does continue in meetings that the two have after the disastrous proposal. Its a good noticing though because I think after Margaret recovers from the events of the riot and the death of her friend and starts to think about what Mr Thornton said she starts to look at him differently. She then also starts to notices elements of his character that she previously overlooked. Only the girl is a bit too stubborn to let him see that….and he’s a bit too hurt to try to take too much notice of her….plus there is the added turmoil of her life of the visit from her fugitive brother.

See…more action!

There is just always something happening that as a reader you don’t want to stop turning the pages. You just want to stay lost in the world that Elizabeth Gaskell has created. With each turn of the page I fall more and more in love with all the characters in the book. (This includes annoying gossipy Mrs Dixon because really she does change as the book progresses just as everyone else does and I’ve grown to love her too.) I am also trying really really hard to not watch the mini-series again until after this re-read is done. But I am not sure that I can. Its just such a wonderful book to screen adaptation and yet another way for me to stay within the world. But I will hold off….for now….after all I have more chapters to read!

How are you liking North & South? Leave your comments (or a link to your blog post) below!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

North and South Read-a-Long: Week 2 Update

Posted by Irish in Read-a-Long3 Comments


About the Read-a-Long
Week 1 Update

This weeks update covers chapters 11 to 20 and can i just say these chapters were filled with such tension and happenings! Margaret begins to learn the ways of Milton through her interactions with Bessy Higgins and her father. Both of which are mill workers and Bessy is not in the best of health which further endears her to Margaret. Margaret is also introduced to Mr Thornton’s mother and sister who are both at the top of Milton society. The Hale’s themselves are still in a bit of limbo when it comes to their status and as a result those in Milton think that they put on airs. 
But because of this limbo like state Margaret is able to socialize with both the Higgin’s and the Thornton’s and we as readers are able to get a more well rounded view of what is going on in the mills. Its sometimes hard to know which side of the fence you should stand on as both sides seem to have a point. Oh how confusing a time this must be for Margaret!
What I love about these chapters is that this is when Margaret finally starts to see Mr Thornton as more than a trademan. She starts to see him as just a man and is able to have easier conversations with him and maybe…just maybe…starts to fall for him just a little. Although she is still for too prideful to admit that. Mr Thornton, of course, has been attracted to Margaret from the start but he’s held himself aloof from her because he understands her Southern ways more than she understands his Northern ones. But in these chapters he too lets down his guard just a little and allows himself to talk freely with Margaret. Oh, they keep there talk to such topics as the strike and not feelings. But it shows something that Mr Thornton acknowledges and respects Margaret’s opinion. After all she is just a woman and a foreigner at that and so many other men of Mr Thornton’s status would just dismiss her. 
I love reading this book. Every time I open its pages I am sucked into another world. Elizabeth Gaskell is so descriptive that its so easy to visualize the setting. The conversations are so real that you almost feel like you are in the room with the characters. Although this could just be my love and memory of the miniseries coming into play as well.

Are you reading North and South? What do you think about these next 10 chapters? Put your thoughts in the comments below or add a link if you blogged about them.


Friday, November 5, 2010

North and South Read-a-Long: Week 1 Update

Posted by Irish in Read-a-Long8 Comments


Hello everyone,

Welcome to the week 1 recap of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Unfortunately I don’t have much to add here as I’ve been sick the last several days and haven’t been able to focus on reading very much. Currently I am in the middle of Chapter V and I hope to finish it up either later today or tomorrow. It all depends on my ability to focus. (I really hate being sick!) But that is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to start sharing your thoughts. I’ve included a Mr Linky so that those who blog about the first 10 chapters can link to their post. For those that prefer the comments then start commenting! Also be sure to keep checking back here and I’ll revise this post once I’ve finished reading. I’m so sorry to slack off right at the start. Please forgive me.

Updated: 11 Nov 2010
Wow…so its taken me longer to get back on my feet than I thought and its been almost a full week since I said I’d try to get my recap in of the first 10 chapters of North and South. I’ve had the plague (aka the flu) and its just taken a ton out of me. But without further ado here are some of my impressions.

Margaret Hale: She’s the main protagonist and Elizabeth Gaskell originally intended on calling the story Margaret Hale but changed it later on at the request of her publishers. I like Margaret she is a strong character if a bit haughty. She judges people a bit too unfairly at times and has an over idealized recollection of Helstrom – the village of her youth. One thing that I love about Margaret though is that she’s not afraid to take chances. She’ll jump in with both feet when she sees someone in need she’ll do what she can to assist. Margaret is a girl adrift. When she was a child she was sent to live in London with her aunt and cousin Edith and learn a whole new way to act. Her life in Helstrom forces her to change her ways again because what one does in the city isn’t always what is done in the country. And so when her family moves to Milton – a manufacturing town – she’s out of her element and trying to find the proper way to act. And in the process she comes across as cold and uppity as the people in Milton aren’t used to southern ways. I also think Margaret’s miniseries character is very true to her book persona.

Mr Hale: He’s a character that I just want to smack at times. He has strong ideals but lacks something of a back bone at times. When he decides to leave the church and move the family North he takes the cowards way out (in a sense) and has his daughter tell his wife. I’ve always found this to be a bit low and cowardly of him to put such a burden on his daughter. Of everyone in the family, he settles into Milton the most easily. He is in his element and there are times I wonder if he ever stops to think of the effect all the changes he’s made has on his family.

Mrs Hale: She is a lot more annoying in the book than in the movie. She’s a frail woman and isn’t always the most agreeable in the book. But in the movie she is shown to be a kind woman with a close relationship with her daughter. In the book however, she is prone to little jealousies. She is jealous of the time that Margaret spends with her father. Is hurt that he confides in Margaret and not her – and IMO this is justified. Mrs Hale is even jealous of the time Mr Hale spends with Mr Thornton. I think part of her envies their easy conversation the two men share. Its something that she and her husband don’t do anymore. As they’ve grown older the Hale’s seem to have grown apart.

Mr Thornton: Proud. Hardworking. Richard Armitage. (Sorry just had to say it because RA is THE perfect actor for this role.) I love this character both in the book and in the film. Mr Thornton is such a strong, hard working character and I love how he is drawn to Margaret. She isn’t like any woman that’s he’s known before, a mystery. Although because of their different upbringings they often misunderstand each other which results in hurt pride and wounded feelings.

Mrs Dixon – in the movie she’s this lovable family servant but I find her much more annoying in the book. She is very gossipy and judgmental of her employers. She is often too free with her words and critics.

One thing I love about the book over the miniseries is the background. There are a lot more details given in the book that really flesh out the story. The miniseries does a good job in bringing the book to life but out of necessity things have to be cut or rearranged to save time. Like the first meeting of Margaret and Mr Thornton is differ in the book and miniseries. While I love their first meeting in the book filled with its subtle nuances and tension. I adore the miniseries version as well – the one that shows Mr Thornton’s fiery temper and dedication to safety of his workers. I love the descriptions of the book, Gaskell does such a good job of describe the various places that Margaret has lived – those coupled with the visuals from the miniseries give a very detailed look at the time that Margaret was living in. I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters and look forward to the next ones.

If this is your first time hearing about the read-a-long you can learn more about it here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Announcing the North and South Read-a-Long!

Posted by Irish in Read-a-Long13 Comments

Image Source:

Hello everyone!

I’ve been talking on Twitter about doing (or finding) a classic book to do a read-a-long with. Most that I stumble on are already well under way and so I usually don’t join in. Then the other day I was talking to Liz from Consumed by Books about our mutual love of the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. (This is such an amazing mini-series and you must watch it if you haven’t already.) She also mentioned that while she’s seen the mini-series several times she’s never actually read the book. I’ve read the book but it was eons ago and so suggested that maybe we could do a read-a-long.
Therefore, starting on 01 November I am going to start reading North and South and posting weekly updates here on my thoughts. I’ll post my thoughts at the end of each week and read the book using the following schedule:

Week 1: Chapters 1 – 10
Week 2: Chapters 11 – 20
Week 3: Chapters 21 – 30
Week 4: Chapters 31 – 40
Week 5: Chapters 41 – 52

There is also a good chance that I will be re-watching the mini-series after this re-read of the book…because its on Netflix Instant View and I just can’t help but watch it on a regular basis. I am excited for this read-a-long because I last read North and South back when I was around 15 or so and haven’t read it since. So this will almost be like reading the book for the first time as I am sure there is much that I have forgotten! 
I’ve included a Mr Linky just in case anyone else would like to join in the read-a-long….and will have one for each weeks thought post. If you don’t have a blog for the URL then you can always join via the comments. So feel free the grab the button above, the book from your nearest book store or library and join in the fun!