Tag Archives: The Importance of Being Earnest

Challenge Update, July 2017

1 Aug

Being out of school finally helped me catch up on reading and it was awesome! The end of June was slow reading for me but I found the time to get through my book club selection and I’ve been flying since then. I thought my vacation was going to slow me down a bit but I read every day and a ton on the long plane rides. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July:

Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths // Bruce Feiler (2/5)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values // Robert Pirsig (3/5)
The Importance of Being Earnest // Oscar Wilde (5/5)
Career of Evil // Robert Galbraith (5/5)
A Son of the Circus // John Irving (2/5)
Commonwealth // Ann Patchett (4/5)

This was a big audiobook month for me. I got through two very long books, though, and I’m really happy about that. I can finally see my bedside table because it’s not crowded with books at the moment. We’ll see how long that lasts, though. Probably not even a week.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

9/12
Nothing new for the second month in a row! I’m starting to realize I need to be selective with my reads if I’m going to make this. ‘The Future’ shouldn’t be a hard category to fill given the amount of YA dystopia that’s available on audio. It’s going to be the 1500s and 1600s I’ll struggle to fill. Any suggestions?

Goodreads Challenge

33/50
Five books ahead! This summer has made me feel really good about finishing this challenge. It felt like I was just going to scrape by while I was in school but I’ve made some great steps forward and I’m confident now. Yay!

Book of the Month

Cover image via Goodreads

I’m going to have to give this to The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I laughed while running at this one which was somewhat painful and a little awkward because the person on the treadmill next to me thought I was a bit crazy. Then again, most people on treadmills are a bit crazy so this is accurate.

Added to my TBR

I’ve gone up two books to 111. I knew my vacation would do this to me because I love buying books while I’m on vacation. I’m surprised it only went up that much!

  • Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Simply, I love Larson and I wanted to put another of his books on my list because I always want to be reading his books.
  • How the Mistakes Were Made by Tyler Mcmahon. A woman from my writers’ group used this one as an example to talk about second person point of view and it piqued my interest.
  • The Maximum Security Book Club by Mikita Brottman. I saw this one at Powell’s and wanted to buy it but it would have taken me over the budget my husband set for me so I bowed out and put it on my TBR instead.
  • Chemistry by Weike Wang. This was my buy at Elliot Bay Book Company, which I’ll post about later this week. I have a crazy story about this book that I’ll be sharing there so please check that out on Thursday.
  • Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. This was my spontaneous buy at Powell’s! I’ll post more about this next week but I’m really excited to read it. It sounds like a cross between The Martian and Station Eleven, both of which I loved.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. This was another Powell’s buy. I only have one more book on my shelves in Spanish that I haven’t read yet and Powell’s had an entire shelf of YA lit in Spanish. YA is a good genre for me to read in Spanish because it challenges me, but not too much. I wouldn’t feel comfortable reading Marquez in Spanish! I’m looking forward to reading this translation though it might be a year before I do.

Personal Challenge

I mentioned in my challenge announcement post that I had some non-reading goals set for myself in 2017. I figured this would be a good place to keep myself accountable to those as well. Here goes!

  • Keep my 4.0 GPA: No class now so this one is still going well.
  • Knit blankets:  I finished the blanket I was close to finishing last month so I’m all caught up! No pregnancies I know about where I’m waiting on a gender so now I’m looking pretty.
  • One race per month: This was a crazy month for races! I did my first 5K open water swim early in the month. It was easily the most difficult thing I’ve ever done! I cramped three times but I didn’t get pulled out of the water and finished DFL (Dead ****ing Last) but in under two hours! My husband and I did a charity ride for MS Research which was a two-day event where we put in 80 miles each. Finally, the day before I left for vacation, I did a sprint tri. My run time wasn’t good but my swim and bike were some of my best so I consider it a 50% success despite my poor overall time.
  • Get my novel out to beta readers: I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t made any progress. I kept myself busy so I’ll try to make time before my class starts at the end of August to do some work here.

How were your challenges? I hope you made it. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2017, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 19-July-2017

19 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I got back to A Son of the Circus by John Irving! I know, it’s been a while. It’s taken me a bit of time to get back into the swing of it and remember everything that’s happening but I’m so excited to be reading it again and I’m really loving it.
A mild step forward Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi this week. I plan on going through this slowly so no problem that it’s taking a while.
Things are starting to really ramp up with Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling. I hope I can finish this before I head off on vacation because I’ll hate having to leave it behind and not know how it ends for a week!
I was able to transfer Commonwealth by Ann Patchett to my phone easily so I’m working on this as an audiobook now. It was weird going from me ‘reading’ the book in my head to listening to a narrator do it, but I’m over that hump now and still loving this story!

Recently finished: I finished The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde during my run last Thursday and it feels really good to have finished a book! It was really funny and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The review went up on Monday.

Reading Next: So, here’s the thing. I want to take a book or two on vacation with me but I want to take ones that I wouldn’t mind leaving behind. The plan is for them to be sold at used book stores when finished and new ones purchased. This is hard for me because I love keeping all the books I read, even if I don’t like them very much! However, I’m determined not to pay for a lot of bags. I hate to say it, but I likely won’t bring A Son of the Circus because it’s huge and I’m almost done with it. So, I picked out four choices and I want you guys to vote and tell me which to bring!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (5/5)

17 Jul

I’d seen the play, but never read the screen play of this work. A few years ago, someone recommended this to me as an 1800s read for the When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’d already found something for the time period, but I added it to my TBR anyway. I needed a nice short audiobook recently and chose this one. At two hours, it was a great length. And the full cast narration was a delight.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Summary from Goodreads:

Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend the “rivals” to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

Strangely, my strongest recollection of this story was the cucumber sandwiches in the first act. I just remember the actor eating all of them and thinking it was hilarious. This whole play was really funny and it made me forget how terrible running can be for a little while. Listening also made me want to see the show again.

The characters are such awful exaggerations of society that it’s very easy to laugh at them. Only Jack seems to be somewhat collected and even he has times of being a bit ridiculous. I don’t think Wilde could have made fun of society with relatable or down-to-earth characters so it was a wonderful choice.

Algernon was my favorite character in the play. He was absolutely ridiculous and made me laugh in every scene he was in. At first, I thought he was terribly clever and out maneuvering Jack but I soon realized how vain he was, along with everyone else of course, and that his remarks were not witty but oblivious and narsacistic. I still loved him.

I didn’t relate to any of the characters, but I think you should all question me if I had. Not being able to relate to a character isn’t an issue for me in a comedy like this one. It’s hard to laugh at someone who reminds you of yourself.

I loved all the backhanded comments about things being in fashion. Thinks that ‘one must’ or ‘one must never’ do were great and made for many of the best lines in the play. Wilde had a great way of pointing out how ridiculous some of the customs of his society were and I loved hearing about it in this format.

As terrible as it sounds, I was disappointed that things worked out for everyone in the end. It wouldn’t have been very funny if things had gone poorly, but I think it would have been appropriate for them to flub a few things up in the end. These weren’t the smartest people, after all. But things working out the way they did was funny and I guess that’s what you’re going for as a comedy writer.

The full cast production was wonderful. This is a play with few enough characters that each voice was distinct enough I could tell them apart without having to be told who was speaking. It was fun to listen to it like a conversation. The narrator for stage direction barely spoke expect to announce arrivals and departures. I think this is the best way to listen to a play. I prefer it to the single-narrator version of The Tempest I listened to last year.

I liked Wilde’s way of talking about how ridiculous he found some of the practices of his society. He especially seemed harsh on marriage and family ties. It makes me want to read more into his life and see why he might have felt this way. I do remember reading he was arrested for homosexuality though he was married and maybe felt trapped in a marriage he had a poor opinion of. I’m just speculating but I can see how that might lead someone to have slighted feelings against societal pressures.

Writer’s Takeaway: What I really loved about this book was the witty one-liners. There’s a great list on Goodreads and a favorite was from Aunt Augusta: Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that. I enjoyed the quick chuckle and I think lines like this, frequency dependant on the genre, are always welcomed and can help lighten a heavy mood, even in a dark book.

I really enjoyed this read and recommend the full cast audiobook highly. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
‘The Importance of Being Earnest’: Bright, but Shallow | Washcult

WWW Wednesday, 12-July-2017

12 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Nothing with A Son of the Circus by John Irving but I have a plan! I’m hoping to switch Commonwealth to audio soon and that will give me time to finish this one! If everything lines up perfectly, I’ll take this one to Portland with me and sell it at Powell’s and buy another book there! Nerd dreams!
I got through a bit of Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi during lunches and waiting for the chiropractor, but nothing major. This book is pretty long and I think I’ll be reading it the rest of the summer at least.
I’m enjoying Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling and have convinced my husband to let me do all the driving so I can listen to it in the car while he plays games on his phone. It seems to be a win-win situation for us.
I’m loving Commonwealth by Ann Patchett so far. Her writing is amazing and the characters are drawing me in. I have the CD audiobook as well and I’m thinking of ripping it to my iTunes and putting it on my phone so I can finish it there when I finish Earnest. I have a multi-step plan to finish all of these, I assure you.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a fun listen. The full cast is helping it read more like a play than the last time I listened to a play on my phone. It’s quite short and I should be finishing it up shortly.

Recently finished: Nothing this week! I seem to have an all-or-nothing record with finishing books. I suspect at least one here next week!

I did get some reviews up, this week. First was a review of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig that I published on Monday. I’ve already posted my book club reflection of the book but I had a bit of my own insight that I wanted to be sure to share as well.
I also published my review of Abraham by Bruce Feiler. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Feiler’s other book that I read a few years ago so if you’re interested in his religious books, I recommend Walking the Bible.

Reading Next: I’m going to worry about starting a new book until I get through my current reads first! It’s a big slog of them and I hope to minimize the number before I leave for my big trip at the end of the month! I know I haven’t posted much about it here, but I’m VERY excited! Don’t worry, WWW Wednesday will not be interrupted!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 5-July-2017

5 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Still nothing with A Son of the Circus by John Irving. I’m hopeful I’ll get back to it soon with my book club being off for a few months and having read one of the future selections for my other club. I want to finish this one soon!
I read a bit of Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi during my lunch breaks like I’d wanted to. This one is slow and steady but I’m enjoying it a lot.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling has been going well. I convinced hubby to listen to it while we drove to our holiday weekend vacation. I’m about half way now and I still have no idea who the crook could be. I hope to find out soon!

Recently finished: I just finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig while I was Up North (northern Michigan). It was a good read and I really did like it, despite the time it took me to finish. I’ll likely have a review up next week.
I got through Abraham by Bruce Feiler over the weekend. I didn’t like this as much as his other book that I’ve read but it was still interesting. Another review for next week.

Reading Next: I plan to start Commonwealth by Ann Patchett today. I hope this is a quick one and I’m really looking forward to it because it seems like one I’d really enjoy. Fingers crossed!
I’m also about to start The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I have an audiobook that’s full cast and only two hours so I think this one will be done by next week.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Recently Added to my To-Read List 7-Mar

7 Mar

I realized the posts I do where I update you on what I’m planning to (eventually) read are a lot like the Friday Finds on MizB’s blog, so I’ll try to time them up with those. Let’s cut to it, shall we?

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I could swear that my husband told me about this book, but he’s never heard of it. I saw it on someone else’s WWW Wednesday post. The story follows a boy who has received messages from a classmate about the 13 reasons why she committed suicide.
  2. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This one had been in my periphery for a while, but after a coworker praised it to me one day, I knew I had to bite the bullet and add it to the list. The main character is perpetually reincarnated and tries to make the most of each of her short lives.
  3. O, Africa! by Andrew Louis Conn. This was a Goodreads First Reads win, my first in a while. Two brothers trying to make it in Hollywood try to stay ahead of the curve by going to get the next big thing: footage of Africa. Did I mention this was 1920s? I’m a bit excited.
  4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. With all the Rowell buzz going around today, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I saw a book blogger review it positively and it jumped on the list, aided because Nicole has a copy I can borrow! The main character falls in love with a woman whose conversation he’s monitoring for security reasons. (I suspect in true Rowell fashion that this will be a lot better than it sounds.)
  5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I’ve seen this play before and really enjoyed it. When I asked for suggestions on a book to read for the 1890-1909 period for When Are You Reading?, Katherine suggested this title. A classic farce of mistaken identities and Wilde’s wit.

So there they are! The next five books to be added to the never-ending ‘To Read’ pile.  What have you added to your list? Anything on my list strike your fancy? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time, write on.