Review: Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery, Colleen Winton (Narrator)

Every time that the Anne of Green Gables movies was on TV when I was a young girl—I watched it. Religiously. I loved the 1985 version….a true childhood classic for me. Anne with an E was my idol. Mostly because I too was an Anne with an E so I felt like in some way we had a special connection.

Now as an adult, I can’t tell you a single thing about the movie I watched many many times over as a girl, but I remember loving it and I remember that it made me fall in love with all things turn of the century and that I wanted desperately to move to Prince Edward Island and live on a farm, but I can’t really remember the actual story all that well.

Admittedly, I never actually read the books as a girl. I had them all and I tried reading them but just couldn’t get past the first one because I already knew how to story would end (I remember that part at least). So basically, I have never read them, but now as an adult and new parent I have been longing for fond childhood memories.

When the audio book came up for review, I eagerly jumped at the chance to review it. I have never reviewed audio books, but lately I’ve been in to podcasts so I figured this couldn’t be much different so I turned up the speakers at work and started listening to a beloved childhood classic rather than my typical Pandora station.

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Review: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace or more commonly known as “the book most people have lied about reading” is the definition of epic.

This book is big and intimidating but it’s often the crown jewel for readers, why? Because it’s arguably the greatest novel ever written, so naturally if you’ve read it you must be part of the ‘in crowd’ or elite readers of the literary world.

So, why haven’t I read this book up until now? I mean, I’ve read massive books before, I mean the A Song of Ice and Fire books are just as long as this book so I’ve clearly read long books. Let’s not forget Les Miserables, another long tedious book that I’ve read. I’ve also read other works by Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) that are lengthy and wordy, so I am familiar with his writing style. So why avoid this book? Well I’ll be honest, even with all my reading and lengthy epics under my belt, this book scared me.

Tolstoy’s writing is complex and tedious as are parts of the story. A Russian writer in the Victorian era is anything but easy to read. I struggled with Anna Karenina at times and honestly felt like War and Peace was just too high above me. Like maybe it would be too had and what if I didn’t like it or understand anything? I would feel like an absolute disgrace to my literature degree!

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Special Feature: WAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy

WAR AND PEACE is one of those novels that people always claim to have read but have never actually picked up the book because…..1400+ pages is A LOT of reading.

I am not one of those people…..I freely admit I have NEVER read this book. I haven’t even attempted! At first the length scared me but after reading other lengthy books of this same caliber, I have since considered tackling this mammoth book!

So I will be running a review of this one in June but in the mean time I wanted to call everyone’s attention to this beautiful edition from Penguin Classics!

Full confession…..I decided to commit to review based solely on this edition and cover. It’s beautiful! I love the cloth bound copy and design. The edition itself is designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith (I reviewed one of her children’s books last year and I proudly display it in my nursery!). I am a cover snob and fully admit it. I love this edition/cover so much that I was willing to shelve other books in order to read this one.

Plus I saw the WAR AND PEACE television mini series earlier this year and based on how interesting that was, I thought maybe it was time to dive into this book once and for all so I can proudly state that I read it!

At a glittering society party in St. Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon’s army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey, and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants, to soldiers and Napoleon himself.

In WAR AND PEACE, Leo Tolstoy entwines grand themes—conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate—with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.

Helmed as one of the undisputed masterpieces of world literature, and one of the longest novels ever written, WAR AND PEACE is as much a philosophical discussion as it is a work of fiction.

Review: Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World by Maria Tatar

Be our guest this weekend with the live action Disney, Beauty and the Beast, hitting theaters!

The animated Disney film was one of my most favorite movies growing up and even now, I still find myself singing along to all the songs when I hear them!

Not to mention, my 7 month only baby LOVES animated Disney and the music, though The Little Mermaid is his all time favorite, Beauty and the Beast is a close second so needless to say I watch the animated Beauty and the Beast about once a week.

I am also currently streaming Disney on my Pandora station which is full of Beauty and the Beast classic songs, all to get ready for the upcoming movie release!

So like many fans around the world, I am anxiously waiting for the live action film to be released because let’s be honest….it looks absolutely magical! And as a little girl, I loved that Belle made reading cool for nerd girls around the world!

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Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

This has been the year of Jane Eyre inspired literature and this latest Jane Eyre revisitation was something quite unexpected.

Any book that has the passage ‘reader I murdered him’ so eloquently stated and matter-of-factly, instantly holds a special place in my heart!

When we first meet Jane Steele she is living with her mother in a small cottage on the grande estate of Highgate House. All her life Jane is told she is to inherit Highgate House but when her mother dies unexpectedly Jane’s evil aunt purposes to send her away to a school where she will learn to be a governess.

After first hearing this news, Jane runs onto the estate to weep and is accompanied by her cousin Edwin who proceeds to try and sexually assault her……but rather than let it happen Jane fights back and suddenly Edwin is dead by Jane’s hand.

Suddenly boarding school doesn’t sound so bad so off she goes. From there we follow Jane through not only a tedious childhood but often uncertain adulthood full of little lies and of course…..a few murders!

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