Sunday, September 14, 2008

Get Thee To a Nunnery!

After teaching two sections of 12th grade English this summer, I had a few questions about my students' perception of Ophelia from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Without spoiling the issue they had with Ophelia, and thereby ruining the book, let's just say that they thought that Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship went way beyond a promise and a flirtation. I kept scratching my head over the suppositions they kept making, until I picked up Lisa Klein's YA novel Ophelia.

While not my favorite read of the summer or even year, I could appreciate yet another remake of a "classic" tale. The language tries to imitate some of the sound of Shakespeare, but NOT at the same time. It's a pretty easy read, but feels familiar, and not just becuase I've read the play. I can't really put my finger on it, but even though it was a retelling and meant to be surprising, you really could tell where it was heading. Did I enjoy it?'s not bad, but it's not one I'll be keeping around.

This has me wondering though what's up with us that we keep thirsting after and reading all these reworked stories? In a way, at least from my end, it's starting to get old! I know that sounds snobby, but after reading a slew of pretty horrid retellings, I'm ready for some pretty original thinking again. Sigh...I guess I am sounding snobby, especially after recommending "Lost in Austen" as a new TV series in Great Britain.

So far (and although you have to watch it on YouTube), I'm loving it! In fact, Doc sat in the recliner in my room while we watched the 2nd installment of the show from my 27" computer screen (huge discount on it when I bought my new HP this fall). It's whitty, engaging, and funny to watch this snarky Bridget-esque girl from the present step into Pride and Prejudice of the past. It's just fun!

One last recommendation, and then I'll head back to grading response papers (yuck!). As noted previously, I have a teenage-like, yet adult size crush on Richard Armitage. Well, he's currently starring in the BBC drama "Robin Hood." I actually just finished Netflixing the first Season last week, and spent yesterday and today watching the first two discs while I was grading papers. To tell you the truth, it really floats my boat. :) Not only is Armitage smoking hot in black leather as bad dude Guy Gisbourne ( that the REAL reason I'm watching???), but the story is fun to watch. If you're looking for a clean series with action, history, and a nice dose of romance (oh, and hot guys in leather), then I heartily recommend getting your hands on "Robin Hood."

Well, I have midterms this next week, and about 100 papers left to grade, so my reading for pleasure or future GRE purposes could go decidedly downhill. :( So, until I return, Cheers!

P.S. Let me know if you've read or seen any of the things I've posted. I'd love to hear anyone's response about them! Oh, and "G" from KSU...If you read this, I'm still waiting for a link to your blog! :)


  1. Apparently I don't read enough of any good books. They aren't classics, but I love the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. I love easy reading, feel good books. Maybe that makes me stupid, but I think more than anything it makes me a mom. Reading is how I escape from the hecticness of my family, so I don't want it to be anything I have to think too much about! Oh well!

  2. My mom loves those too! Trust me, I'm not reading "classics" besides what I force myself to read. I know they end up being good, but I love my escapist stuff. Besides, I keep trying to push myself so that I can follow what the kids at school are reading, and so I have recommendations. Lately though, I'm having to veer them away from stuff!