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Category Archives: Reading

Richard and the Armitage Crew (when do I get my crew tattoo?)

Yowza, it’s been a while since I last posted, luckily it was less than 10 days ago, so I can count that far, plus I have a pinky or two to spare.

My excuse defense is that I have been keeping myself busy with good RL stuff, but as I have failed as a blogger, I am humbly accept my punishment so I’m ready for my spanking Mr Armitage…

Today I shall start by write about one of my absolute favorite aspects of our little community of Armitage Admirers.

As I had mentioned before, due to my planned trip to see the thespian Richard Armitage in July, I’ve had to tighten the ol’ belt and couldn’t splash out on Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew by Bernard Hare until debts were paid off and London pocket-money (or rather a large sack, judging by how expensive that city is…) was safely tucked away waiting for July.

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I must admit, with all the positive reviews of the book, it did very much feel like a kid with its nose stuck to the sweet shop window, but needs must and I was focusing on the greater good.

Turns out two beautiful souls ( you know who you are and, more importantly, I know who you are!)  gifted me a copy, so this sugar-starved snotty-nosed kid could dive right into the book, so thank you and I.O.U!!!

To continue with my annoying sweety metaphor,  I couldn’t stop devouring Hare’s book and it was so good it gave me literature diabetes…

I bet there have been dozens of posts written on the topic of Urban, both about the book, the film adaptation, Richard’s part and everything in between, so let me just offer a few random thoughts:

I’m was adamant that I wouldn’t really enjoy the plot as I’d be focused on the character that Richard plays, how prominent he is and whether he has any good lines etc.

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Officially my favorite Chop pic to date!

Not to worry, Chop is the narrator, the part is plump and perfect for our Mr A- juicy, disturbing, heart-breaking and, at times, ridiculously tender.

Judging by the set pics, book Chop has been transformed from an overweight long-in-the-tooth boozer to a slimmer boozer with dodgy dress sense.

Ergo, just like beards started being hot right about the time Richard grew one, I’m betting grandpa-meets-second hand shop garb and dodgy hats will stoke our fires red-hot very soon.

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This part is just what Dr AgzyM ordered as an antidote to The Hobbit madness and the fact that I’m actually getting my wish makes me think I should seriously play the lottery and maybe hit another jackpot.

Also, no spoilers, but there is a scene that involves dangerous water and Richard getting soaked, so yahoo! for us and bummer! for him.

And when I say water… well… maybe it’s not pure H2O, but then Porter stuck a Swiss Army knife up you-know-what, so let’s not get prissy…

For those who read the book and would like to delve deeper into the dark world of welfare benefits and estates and need a bit of context to understand Urban better, here are two recommendations:

I adore the first season of Shameless (UK version, not the US).

It follows the Gallagher family and other occupants of the fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester and stars the delicious James McAvoy (nuff said!).

You can watch it on YT, episodes chopped up into small mouthfuls:

You can also check out a 5-part documentary called Benefit Street, which follows people living on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where it is reported 90% of the residents are on benefits.

 

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge: April Reads (books 1-5)

I had decided to make sure I was getting the best bang for my buck sabbatical, and I had seen posts floating about regarding reading a book a week, for 52 consecutive weeks.

There are many different versions of the challenge, but as always I’ll just make things up as I go along.

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Granted, most start in January, but I have done my fair share of New Year’s Resolutions that had disappeared by week 2, so I was confident that it’s not the day when you start something but the action of actually doing it that matters.

I really didn’t know how many/little a book a week would be.

I’m usually in the middle of at least one and the moment it’s done I already have my eye on the next and dive right in.

Because I have periods when I can read all day long (I know, I love my life then…), I decided to take it a month at a time, accelerating when I could and not worrying if I could only sneak a few pages when RL stuff would pile up.

I’m not including books I’m reading for work or audiobooks, although I’ll mention any that are worth your attention.

52 books seems like a hefty amount, but by the time I chose those that I had been meaning to get to for a while, I was already up to 30.

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I think variety is key, so I shall endeavour to make sure I’m not just reading book from within my comfort zone (food/nutrition, steampunk, book series), but also take the road less traveled.

As I still have over 20 books to add to my folder, I would greatly appreciate your recommendations.

I’m looking for books that have somehow moved or influenced you, that have widened your horizon and were a bloody good read.

I’m trying to alternated between fiction and non-fiction, biographies and lighter reading, so give me your suggestions 🙂

Here were my choices for April as well as a quick review (which I’m pants at, BTW, so don’t expect much).

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First up, this one is a bit of a cheat as I had started reading it before I decided to challenge myself, but it’s too good not to mention.

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked us by Michael Moss

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“Moss takes us inside the labs where food scientists use cutting-edge technology to calculate the “bliss point” of sugary beverages or enhance the “mouthfeel” of fat by manipulating its chemical structure. He unearths marketing campaigns designed—in a technique adapted from tobacco companies—to redirect concerns about the health risks of their products: Dial back on one ingredient, pump up the other two, and tout the new line as “fat-free” or “low-salt.” He talks to concerned executives who confess that they could never produce truly healthy alternatives to their products even if serious regulation became a reality. Simply put: The industry itself would cease to exist without salt, sugar, and fat. Just as millions of “heavy users”—as the companies refer to their most ardent customers—are addicted to this seductive trio, so too are the companies that peddle them. You will never look at a nutrition label the same way again.” X

AgzyM says:

I freaking loved this book.

Even if books on nutrition aren’t your cup of tea (or pound of lard, as the case may be) this is a must-read.

As a food/nutrition junky, I’ve read and watched my fair share of stuff regarding a healthy body and what to put in our gobs to keep it that way, but they have ranged from the boring, craycray to the right darn “how do we contact your mother-ship?”.

This book, written by a Pulitzer award winning journalist Michael Moore, had me fuming, both at the audacity of food giants, but also at my own stupidity and ignorance.

At first I regarded it as “something that was happening far far away”, until I recognized most, if not all, brands, which can actually be found at my local supermarket.

It’s not a coincidence that food giants describe their customers as “users” as the correlation between a sugar and drug addiction is disturbing.

The bottom line is, the companies care only about the bottom line, they will do everything and anything to get you hooked on processed food, at the same time defending themselves by stating that it’s what the customers want.

Rating:

This book gets the full 5 Armitages

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What I learned:

Almost every single processed item you buy is either packed with sugar, fat or salt, most probably all of the above.

Read the freaking label and make smart choices!

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

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“Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn’t content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that’s never been cracked. Until now. Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. Compared to tech’s other elite innovators–Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg–Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing.” X

AgzyM says:

I love a good biography and delving deeper into the lives of people of success and as an huge Kindle fan, this book immediately caught my eye.

It certainly is a lesson in ambition, perseverance and vision, but also in corporate bullying and the disintegration of the work-life balance, about who little thought and sentiment is attached to the person when one only focuses on the big picture.

Although there’s an underlining feel good aspect to Bezos’s tale, ultimately it’s one that I had difficulty relating to my own life in a significant way.

Sure, you can have a great idea and strive to turn it into reality, but the fairytale shatters when you realize that behind the dream was a team of Ivy League and Wall Street professionals and millions upon millions of dollars.

Rating:

That’s 4 Armitages for this one.

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What I learned:

This book contains one of my now favorite quotes:

” It’s easier to invent the future than to predict it”

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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“In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.” X

AgzyM says:

This book seemed to have been following me around for a while and as I have been contemplating my own repetitive habitual behavior, it seemed only a matter of time when my eyes and its pages would come together.

With great expectations comes… a bit of disappointment.

I found the first part of the book to be quite dry (lab rats anyone?) and although it may have offered some readers a light-bulb moment, I felt like I already knew a good deal of the information provided and what I didn’t know (the background to Fabreze and such) I was OK with being ignorant about.

The book also ended rather abruptly and if you were looking for ways to change your habits, it’s all summed up in the appendix.

Having said that, ever since I finished this book, I seem to be referring to it an awful lot in conversations I have throughout the day (yes, OK, I’m very chatty…), so perhaps this book has left a more lasting impression on me than I had initially thought.

Rating:

Good, not great

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What I learned:

There is no scientific reason why shampoo or toothpaste lathers/foams other than to give the impression that “it’s working”.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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“Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.” X

AgzyM says:

After the previous choices I was in dire need of a change and, although you should never judge a book by its’ cover, this one reeled me in.

It’s an odd book from the get go.

A strange combination of narration, emails, letter and such, it’s a seemingly ad hoc collection of bits and pieces of writing, but serve to create the main plot.

The plot is twisted and slowly unravels until we reach a (extremely far-fetched) climax, but all in all it’s a quirky tale that will have you laughing and squirming with embarrassment.

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Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

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At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. X

AgzyM says:

I left this book for last and I’m so happy I could tear through it on a Sunday as I just couldn’t put it down.

As I’ve been going through my very own changes, I’m particularly interested in learning in paths that others have taken when they’d found themselves at a crossroads.

Slightly reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, this story certainly packs a punch and has you both sympathizing and at times harshly judging Strayed’s decisions as she embarks on a mission to heal from a path of tragedy and self-sabotage that puts my own stroppy attempts to shame.

This story is inspirational and painful, and touching, and painful… and worth working a mile in the protagonist’s (too small) shoes.

I highly recommend it, that’s why I’m giving it 5 Armitages and I’m throwing in a Lucas bum because I really enjoyed it!

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Honorable mention:

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

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“In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. “ X

This book has certainly been making quite a splash, although I very much doubted that I was the intended audience for Sandberg as I’m not a corporate worker, nor do I exhibit any signs of ambition and I’d loathe to be anyone’s manager (I have a pathological need to be liked…).

I ended up making my way through this book, a chapter at a time, with one of my students.

We’d look at vocabulary, flesh out key ideas and such, but somewhere in the meantime this book really connected with me, despite the fact that the author has clearly taken a different path.

I presume most people think I’m one of those women, those bloody feminists, but I calmly try to explain that the simplest form of feminism strives for equality, nothing more and nothing less and I really do believe that Sandberg is a kindred spirit in that regard.

The book isn’t perfect, but then the writer doesn’t claim to be either, so this book is worth checking out, if only to form your own opinion.

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 I’m already gathering up my books for May, so make sure to leave your reading recommendations 🙂

 

Happy World Book Day (Armitage Style), Bookworms!

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Happy World Book Day (unless you are either Swedish or British)!

I don’t know about you, but for me there’s nothing better than to dive between the pages (paper or electronic).

I shall be writing more about the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge I’ve decided to undertake, but today I wanted to have a peek at the books I’ve read because I am a raving loony Armitage fan.

Ya see, Richard makes us better people 😉

One of the first books I read inspired by Richard was Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.

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I’ve loved the mini-series dearly since it hit me like a ton of bricks in July 2012 and turning to the book seemed like a great idea to squeeze a bit more from my beloved story.

True, Margaret has raven black hair and Thornton is described as a big unattractive Shrek (not really, but he’s got nothing on Armitage), but there are many delicious goodies that never made it to the TV adaptation.

Another book that I reached for was Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

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Although many of my UK and US friend remembered reading this book as children, I didn’t know who or what a Tolkien was until a friendly American bar owner in Warsaw told me about Gandalf and the world of the rings (while serving my underage a*se a bunch of drinks…).

Since then I feel I’ve done my duty to educate myself with regards to Middle Earth, plus I’m more than a little relieved that I didn’t kill off that many brain cells during my wayward youth…

Another book that I have started reading (and need to finish finally) was a book that Richard himself had often referred to.

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Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour follows the life of Richard III, from his youth to the Battle of Bosworth Field.

I can’t really explain why I’d drop it time after time having read a few chapters, it’s well written and I do have a thing for British history.

Sunne, your time will come…

From the books that are on my list of “to read”:

I’m still not ready to delve into the world of Arthur Milller’s The Crucible.

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I have no doubt that I will weave my way in and out of the story, but for now I shall leave it on my Kindle as a reminder of what’s to come, a source of temptation and delayed gratification till I’m ready to create my own emotional crucible.

Talking about delayed gratification, I haven’t actually got this next book:

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Urban Grimshaw and the Shred Crew by Bernard Hare

I can’t wait to get my hands on this story, although wait I must till the embargo on frivolous shopping passes.

This is just a handful of books that I’ve read after being prompted by Armitage, one way or another.

What have you read as an extension of your Armitage admiring?

This week too shall pass… (is it Saturday yet?)

This week… just no… seriously… no…

I mighty be ungrateful for feeling such bad juju in the past few days, especially seeing that the heavy frost has passed, snow is melting, no daily hospital trips needed and life is generally on the OK end of the scale .

But yesterday I seriously thought: Hump Day?

More like Dump Day…

I printed and framed this image and it’s the first thing I see in the morning, so I hope that boosts the good vibes in these here parts.

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Anyway, I’m trying to perk myself up with positives like the Tumblr Valentine’s Day event (I already have my secret Valentine and wonder how to fill that envelope to put a smile on someone’s face) and I’m waiting for Guylty to assign my blogging Valentine for RAworld Secret Valentine.

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Are you taking part in either?

Do you know what you’ll be doing or do you have any ideas?

Anyway, I for one am excited about Valentine’s Day and I refuse to let someone else dictate whether it’s going to be a great or crap day.

Other ways to lighten the mood?

Here is an image by euclasse that always puts a smile on my face!

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I loved Fraggle Rock as a child, so this warms the cockles of my frozen heart.

See, I’m trying to turn this particular frown upside down and I’m not the only one that has reason to smile.

Trudy Brasure has chosen the winner of her book giveaway!

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Congrats and I’m sure you will enjoy reading Trudy’s In Consequence!

I’d just like to take the opportunity and thank Trudy for the two posts she wrote (they were so interesting!) and thanks to my readers for giving her such a warm welcome!

Part 2: Trudy’s Pet Peeves

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This is the second day when I’m fortunate enough to welcome North & South continuation writer Trudy Brasure, author of A Heart for Milton and In Consequence.

You can check out Trudy’s previous post here.InConsequenceSmall

I hope you all did your homework from yesterday and have thoroughly researched the answers to the quiz questions!

You can also get your hands on Trudy’s latest book In Consequence which is a corker, so check out the giveaway info 🙂

and now, here are ….

Trudy’s PET PEEVES regarding North and South

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(John withers away insipid comments with one penetrating stare…)

Mind you, I’m aware that my passion for my favorite book/film can get rather geeky and intense. But I’ve spent the last four years thinking about and discussing Gaskell’s story and characters. Forgive me.

#1  The constant comparison of Gaskell to Austen and North and South to Pride and Prejudice. Must every story with a failed proposal set in the horse and buggy days hearken us back to Austen’s patented plot? Couldn’t we look at Gaskell’s merits as a writer based on her own style and subject material? Austen and Gaskell aren’t even from the same era for crying out loud! Bronte and Dickens seem more likely comparisons for the passion and social issues dealt with in North and South. I know this annoying occurrence will never cease in my lifetime but …Grrr!

#2  The half-knowledge behind the oft-repeated fact that Gaskell was rushed to finish her ending.  Yes, Dickens forced her to hurry her story’s conclusion during the serial publication of N&S in his magazine. It’s a tasty tidbit of history that sticks in the mind. Poor Gaskell – that mean ol’ Dickens! However, what many don’t realize or remember is that Gaskell went back to add two whole chapters and embellish other sections of North and South before it was published as a book. She left that end scene alone. Hmm…. ( psst! I loved the ending in the book! for more about Gaskell’s ending see my post at WestofMilton here:  LINK)

#3  That PBS/Masterpiece missed airing North and South in the US.  Will we ever know the mystery behind this omission? I’ve heard a few theories, but I’ll never get over this disservice to the American public. If PBS is meant to bring fine art to the masses, they certainly missed sharing one of the BBC’s finest period dramas…. and the best kiss scene ever recorded on film.

#4  Interpretations of John and Margaret based solely on the first half of the book/story.  I have to wonder if some people really saw/read the whole thing. Granted that the first half is all spitfire and clashing, but the second half in which each learns to deeply consider the other’s perspective is beautifully, if more subtly, drawn. I can’t fathom that Gaskell intended her characters to stay the same throughout the arc of the story. So pardon me if I disagree wholeheartedly with those that believe that Margaret and John would be forever clashing on ideology and social morality. Where’s the proof of that in the unfolding events, actions, and words of the second half?

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Does this look a girl who still holds grievances about the Master’s character and business practices?

#5  The lousy introduction to the book in the Penguin edition. This almost ruined my appetite for reading the book the first time around. With a heavy emphasis on sexual symbolism and the power struggle between male and female positions, this analysis of Gaskell’s work sapped most of the deeper meaning out of the story and highlighted the dry, intellectual wrestlings that academics feed upon. I’d like to have it out with Patricia Ingham, Ph. D. on a few of the aspects concerning John and Margaret’s relationship that I feel she interpreted completely wrong.

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of In Consequence!  The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Now’s the perfect chance to chat with me, ask me something, or (gasp!) disagree with my interpretation of the story and characters.  I’d love to hear from you.

  

Quiz Answers:

1.) Margaret is 18 in the opening scene of the book.

2.) The Lennox family is from Scotland.

3.) Anna Beresford married  General Shaw.                                 ns4-063 damn! missed that one!

4.) Adam Bell.

5.) Bessy

6.) Helstone is not too far from Southampton. It’s mentioned that Mr. Hale walked there once from the vicarage.

7.) George Leonards (from Southampton) had a job as a railway porter at the time of the incident.

8.) Maria and Richard Hale.

9.) False. It’s not possible to draw an accurate calendar of the events as they are indicated in the book. The Thornton dinner is on the 21st of July, yet Gaskell has Margaret going to Marlborough Mills for the water mattress three days later under “an August sun.” Frederick also arrives much too early on the scene after Margaret has written for him. (Where was the Dickens’ editing hand here I wonder. lol.)

10.) Aunt Shaw had a lap dog named Tiny.

11.) Frederick married Delores Barbour.

12.) Hannah reads from the Bible every night to the household. She tries to read from Matthew Henry’s Commentaries as she awaits John’s return from the proposal.

13.) Hannah remembers “a little daughter – dead in infancy.”

14.) False. The Great Exhibition is never mentioned in Gaskell’s work.

15.) True. In the book, Mr. Thornton learns that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16.) True. Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog in the book as well.

17.) Thornton saw Helstone on his return from Le Havre.

18.) True.  John attends both Mrs. and Mr. Hale’s funerals without Margaret knowing he has done so.

19.) Mr. Colthurst is a the vaunted guest at the dinner party in London.

20.) d. It has been two years of struggle and heartache since John first declared his love the day after the riot and that private meeting sans Henry in Aunt Shaw’s back drawing room.

How’d you do? Thanks for joining in the fun!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!

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Part 1: Trudy’s post + N&S Quiz + Book Giveaway

Dear Readers,

81uiI+fCcwL._SL1500_      Today I have such a treat for you I can hardly contain my glee!

Fellow Richard Armitage/North & South connoisseur and author extraordinaire Trudy Brasure has accepted my invitation to share with us her take on Gaskell’s masterpiece and she’ll be spoiling us today and Friday, so make sure you stop by.InConsequenceSmall

Most of you are familiar with Trudy’s writing as she has long been considered one of the most notable fanfiction turned published authors with an uncanny ability to capture our Mr Thornton and make us fall for him hard all over again.

I leave you in the capable hands of my guest blogger and one of my most favorite N&S continuation authors (not to mention a thoroughly lovely person…):

Trudy Brasure

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Five things you probably didn’t know about me:

1. I had a great childhood. As one of nine children, I was surrounded mostly by brothers. Boys? Yeah, we got ’em. I faked my first crush in school to fit in with the crowd. Heck, I didn’t find boys that mysterious or enchanting in those pubescent years.

2. My obsession before I discovered John Thornton/Armitage was … um… Abraham Lincoln. What can I say? I love a good, brooding man in a top hat.

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3.  My first plane ride was from Toronto to Paris – alone, at age 17 – to stay for a month with the family of the exchange student our family had hosted the summer before. Unforgettable adventure for a small town girl from Pennsylvania.

4. I’m the organist/pianist on Sundays at the church I attend. All those years of piano lessons were not wasted!

5. I’ve never been to England! I know, I know…. it’s really quite presumptuous of me to write stories set in a place I’ve never been. Thank goodness for my British editor. I’ve been close, though! My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Ireland and Scotland.

Get your pencils (or quills) ready for QUIZ TIME!
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(John has studied hard for this.)

Think you know North and South? I’ve seen a few fun quizzes posted here and there. But they were too easy.  Try this mean baby if you’ve read the book.   Hey, if you’ve read my stories you might be able to answer a handful of these.  Level: Wicked

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post for the answers!

1. How old is Margaret at the time of Edith’s wedding?

2. Where is the Lennox family from?

3. What military rank did Aunt Shaw’s late husband hold?

4. What is Mr. Bell’s first name?

5. Is it Bessy or Bessie?

6. What is the port town nearest Helstone?

7. How did Leonards happen to be at the station to discover Fred?

8. What are Mr. and Mrs. Hale’s first names?

9. True/False:  Gaskell was a master of precision in writing the sequence of events.

10. What pet did Aunt Shaw have?

11. What is the name of Frederick’s intended (and later, wife)?

12. Name one of the books that Hannah Thornton reads from.

13. What personal tragedy did Hannah silently recall during her visit with the dying Mrs. Hale?

14. True/False: The Great Exhibition is mentioned in a conversation between Thornton and Mr. Hale.

15. True/False:  Thornton discovers that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16. True/False: Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog.

17. Mr. Thornton made a point of visiting Helstone while returning from a business trip to what venue?

18. True/False: Mr. Thornton attends the funeral of both Margaret’s mother and father.

19. What is the name of the member of parliament who comes to dinner at Aunt Shaw’s house in the penultimate chapter?

20 . How much time passed between Thornton’s post-riot declaration of love and the final scene in London in which Margaret offers her fortune to Thornton?  (a.) six months  (b.) a year  (c.) 18 months  (d.) two years

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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If you loved the angst and repressed passion Richard portrayed as John Thornton in North and South, you’ll love my new story! In Consequence puts a twist in the story at the time of the riot which spins the developing story of love and attraction in a whole new direction.  Available for free at C19 and Wattpad, In Consequence is also for sale as a Kindle book at Amazon. It will soon be available in print and as a Nook, ibook, etc. as well.

Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of In Consequence – paperback or Kindle. (worldwide) The winner will be announced next Thursday, February 6th.

Share what you love most about N&S, ask me a question, or talk to me about my story or Gaskell’s.  There’s nothing I enjoy better than engaging in discussion about North and South!  

Coming up tomorrow: Trudy’s pet peeves regarding all things North and South as well as the answers to the quiz!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!

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Pop the champagne, it’s my Blogiversary (for real this time…)

Today (well, technically it was Friday…) marks my 2nd Blogiversary and I intend to celebrate till my fingers turn pruney!

Who knew I’d last this long, 2 weeks would have been pushing it…

2nd blogiversary

I always say that blogging is counted in either dog or Hollywood marriage years so in human terms I’ve been at it for about 14 years and it feel that way at times.

I stated out as an RA blog lurker in the summer of 2011, this blog which followed in January 2012,  was intended as a place where I’d gather materials I find on the net that could come in handy for my MA thesis in Fashion.

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Fast-forward 2 years later and here I am blogging almost exclusively about Richard with an MA degree in Fandoms and Fanfiction…

This fangirling will take over your life if you’re not careful, but then I guess we wouldn’t want it any other way!

My blogiversary coincides with the annual round-up created my WP, so here’s I Want to be a Pin Up in 2013:

For the longest time I felt like the new Pin Up on the block, now it’s more like a goldfish in an Armitage pond 😉

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Thank you so much for supporting my blog, I really appreciate it!

Some time spring it will hit the 500,000 clicks mark which it truly overwhelming and humbling.

Thank you for coming here for a giggle, for engaging and contributing with your comments.

I always say I seem to have the nicest, wittiest and possibly craziest readers and I couldn’t want it any other way.

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I bet there are a few lurkers that fit that description well too and hopefully we get a chance to become familiar by my 3rd blogiversary.

I hope to meet up with a few other RA enthusiasts this December in London, fingers crossed.

It would be wonderful to watch Richard strolling the red carpet one last time to support the role of Thorin surrounded by my peeps.

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I raise my glass to you Dear Friends, Na Zdrowie!

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