Category Archives: The Messy Drawer

Sunday Steals 1/15/2012

The Inside Story: It took Thanhha Lai 15 years to write her first novel, but it was well worth the wait

School Library Journal (which I suspect I read more often than most eighteen year old Antho/Classics majors) has several great blogs attached to their website (for a complete list click HERE) and this interview posted to their “The Inside Story” blog is really quite super. Here Thanhha Lai is interviewed regarding her experiences as a first time published author and her fascinating life story. Not just an interview with an author this is an interview with a well-spoken author who shares several great stories and provides inspiration to fellow writers.

Mrs Fry’s Indispensable Guide to Twitter

A rather useful post from the online diary of Mrs Stephen Fry, a goddess among mortals.


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Sunday Steals (1/8/2012)

–The Pervocracy–

From her blog’s “about” page: “The Pervocracy is a kinky, feminist sexblog. I write about my experiences as an active member of the BDSM community, a partner in a polyamorous relationship, and an all-around completely horny slut. I also write editorials from a sex-positive feminist perspective, advice on sexuality and kink, and humorous critiques of sexism online and in the media.” A very talented blogger who combines her knack for writing with her intellect and puts it to good use. Not really SFW work but not pornographic, just frank. (Her “Cosmocking”, where she dissects issues of Cosmo, is not worth missing.)

–Hermione Loves Books Postcard–

Look how amazingly great this card is!

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Sunday Steal (5/29/2011)

Who Gets to Speak?

I’m not quite sure when I first came across the blog Notes from Rumbly Cottage, but I’ve been enjoying the tender, amusing posts about family life for at least a few months now. The link above takes you to a post from May 23, in which the blogger contemplates free speech in America. I found it to be well thought out piece, with particular emphasis on what our personal responsibilities are.

Lady Gaga takes tea with Mr. Fry

I’m not a huge fan of Lady Gaga, I’m not a “Little Monster”, but I do find her to be a fascinating person. And who better to interview a fascinating person then another fascinating person? Namely Mr. Stephen Fry. The interview, conducted for the Financial Times is quite good, rather interesting, and a nice read.

59 Things You Didn’t Know About Virginia Woolf

Talk about fascinating.

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“The Thirteenth Tale” [A Review]

Cover to the first edition

Image via Wikipedia

A proper book tells a tale which sweeps you up, tumbles your emotions around, and then sets you down hours later, a changed reader. Dianne Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale does just that, and it does it in the twisting style of the Victorian Gothic story.

Set sometime in the 20th century (I thought ’50s, an online reader felt it was the ’70s, you can make your own call),  the story is as straight forward as a Fusilli Bucati Corti noodle, sure it’s got a direction but it’s got its twists along the way. Margaret Lea is a youngish woman who’s grown up in her family bookstore, a childhood that has left on her the mark of the weight of the stories we tell. A few pages in, her quiet, almost sad, life is shaken to the core when she receives a request from Vida Winter, the most popular writer in the world. Now the novel begins to spin the life story of Ms. Winter, a story in the vein of the Brontës and their contemporaries. As the story of the octogenarian writer unfolds itself, so does the story of Maragaret Lea, a personal, tragic, Woolfian story.

Now, I will not say that Ms. Setterfield is a particularly brilliant writer (as one reader pointed out on Goodreads– she’s quite fond of repeating phrases, particularly “hot, sweet tea”) but she does have quite the intricate brain in her skull. The myriad of subtle twists and turns that Ms. Winter’s personal history takes, the secrets that are quietly revealed, are cunning  and full of misdirection.

She also does something that I personally feel is quite important when writing mysteries. I don’t know about you, but I think that writers need to let us figure somethings out for ourselves. Not the whole enchilada, of course, just little plot points that, when worked out, make us go, “Oh! I am clever, aren’t I?” For example, the information revealed to us on page 349 was something that I was speculating at a few chapters earlier, though the true implications completely shocked me. The fact that I was able to guess made me feel all the more engaged in the novel, made it more relatable.

You really can’t read a review of The Thirteenth Tale without hearing comparisons to the great Victorian Gothics and it does raise the question of whether it’s a worthy comparison. Well, I’m going to cop out of answering that by saying: It’s worth making your own call. I mean, it has the style and personally I found it gripping, but I don’t want to assert anything that I can’t prove. So, pick it up, read it yourself, make up your own mind.

4/5 stars.

The Thirteenth Tale. Diane Setterfield. 2006. Atria Books. 

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Sunday Steals (5/22/2011)

Well, I’m back. Isn’t that smashing?

Hobbes and Bacon & Hobbes and Bacon II

Let’s face it: Calvin and Hobbes is one of the greatest things ever. That’s a fact. And if you’re like me then you miss it quite a bit. What we have here is an online cartoon’s look at what Calvin’s life would be like twenty years after that beautiful cliff-hanger. It’s quite funny and I feel it’s a nicely done homage.

Perfect In Every Way

You know what else is great? That’s right, Dame Julie Andrews. For all you fellow Andrews-Fanatics out there (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) here’s a Tumblr account dedicated to the lovely, graceful, talented, elegant, Ms. Andrews.

Right now, that’s all from me today but just so you know, I’ve got a few books reviews in the works and some other pieces up my sleeve. See you all on Tuesday.

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Yet One More Memo

When I said that this blog would return on May the 9th what I should have said was this:

Lady Jane will get her rump in gear and start producing work that will be used for the next week.

I personally like to have a few “rainy day” posts saved up before I launch myself into blogging again. And with three of my classes finished between last Wednesday and midnight tonight I will suddenly have time to write again.

Rest assured that I am creating a “Sunday Steals” for the 15th and will be blogging again in no time.

I’m sure there are hordes out there that have been waiting with bated breath to hear this.

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This blog will return on May 9th.


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