Songs for Every Book: Anna Karenina

SPOILERS

“Tower (Don’t Look Down)” by Skylar Grey reminds me of Anna Karenina towards the end of the book when she turns crazy and paranoid, thinking Vronsky doesn’t love her.  (Both she and the song are preeeeeetty passive aggressive.)

On top of that, the guy in the song is supposedly leaving the girl for the sake of his career.  Vronsky is faced with the same dilemma–Anna vs. advancement in the military.  And Anna in her befuddled state doesn’t seem all that convinced that he’s choosing her…


 
“Just leave me here to die
As I watch you climb
Up to the top of your ambitions.”

What do you think? Is it a match?

Music, Princesses, and Emma Watson

Thanks to electrobeth for nominating me for the Liebster award! She has a great blog on writing inspiration that you should totally check out!

(I basically already posted 11 random facts about myself for another award, so instead of repeating myself you can check them out here.  As a sneak preview, I talk about swords, Batman, and setting my hair on fire.)

Princess music

1. What made you start your blog?

I am writing a book that is provisionally titled “Dickens and the Cheshire Cat: The Book Lover’s Guide to Classical Music.” In it I discuss how to hear stories in music (along the lines of the “Classical Music Stories” section of my blog, but in more detail). So my goal as I’ve been blogging is to connect with people who might share my interests (and, of course, to have fun!).

I believe that without first connecting to classical music and enjoying it on a personal level, technical information about things like how to identify instruments and form is more useless than useful. So, yes, the “goal” of the book I am writing is to help readers have an appreciation for classical music, but not because it is better than other music. I love my pop and rock tunes as much as the next person! Instead, the fact that classical music tells such intricate stories makes it likely that the avid reader would also be an avid listener if he or she cracked the code, so to speak, on how to listen. I hope my book will help with just that and introduce readers to this fascinating and fun activity that they might just love…

2. How do you de-stress after a long day?

Playing games on my phone, taking the most ridiculous Buzzfeed quizzes I can find, and reading, of course.

3. What fascinates you?

How we perceive Continue reading

Literary Characters for President!

Characters for President

Could your favorite character be the next POTUS? Meet the candidates:

(SPOILERS)

Hamlet (Hamlet)

As Prince of Denmark, I already have incredibly valuable experience in politics. My fellow candidates like to point out my inability to act in previous situations[1]. They also like to throw around the term “insanity” in their accusations. But need I remind you that I did get the job done in the end? Anyone who acts impulsively is not fit to rule this country, which is why I am the man for the job.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

It is high time that the United States of America had a president with a head on his—or her—shoulders. It is true that I do not have the political experience of Hamlet, but while he was dealing with political scandal I was out in the real world, helping to save millions of lives from Voldemort. Yet I am also one of you, coming from a humble family of dentists. Vote for me and we will increase this country’s prestige together.

George Wickham (Pride and Prejudice)

What this country needs is a soldier, and I am just the man for Continue reading

Classical Music Stories: The Great Gatsby

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Daisy is driving Gatsby away from town after the fight.  She sees her life shattering around her as she frantically rushes home.

There are a few temporarily happier sections, perhaps showing Gatsby’s (or even Daisy’s) unyielding optimism that it will all turn out right in the end, but even these are constantly moving and frantic.


 And of course, after the music ends, we know what happens next…

 

Do you hear this story, too, or do you hear something different? And what was your favorite part?

Judging the Book By Its Cover: Your Guided Tour Through Wonderland

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When I saw the cover and title of this book, I knew I had to do a post on it:

My Ideas: 

And here you can see the very same roses that were once painted red…no touching, please.

After Alice came back from Wonderland, she was not shy about sharing her story. As a result, more and more little girls and even adults started to “fall” down the rabbit hole (to the point where the White Rabbit could predict when the next one was due).

As a result, the residents of Wonderland transformed their home into a tourist attraction, welcoming visitors and leading them through guided tours that include a sighting of the croquet grounds, the Duchess’s home, and of Continue reading

Classical Music Stories: Wuthering Heights

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Read the story first or listen to the music first–the choice is yours!

SPOILERS

The Firebird: Lullaby by Igor Stravinsky

Near the end of his life, Heathcliff wanders at night in search of Catherine—it is like she has put him under a spell. Night after night he keeps plodding along without sleep.

At one point he thinks he glimpses her and is filled with a soaring hope! …But then he realizes his mistake and returns to endless searching.
 

Can you hear it? Do you hear something different?

Check out similar musical adventures with Hamlet and Jane Eyre.  Visit the “Classical Music Stories” category on the home page to find even more!

The Only Exercise Playlist You’ll Ever Need

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WARNING: THIS MUSIC MAY CAUSE RECURRING NIGHTMARES, PARANOIA, AND/OR SHIN SPLINTS. LISTEN AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 1) Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams

First, you need some motivation and optimism for the long trial ahead…you shall win the Olympics of exercise! You shall conquer!!! Endurance, strength, power: you have it all.

 
2) The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky

So much for the babying. This is about a girl who is chosen to die as a sacrifice to the gods. And though it may start out a little slow, you can tell. So you can either start listening right when it gets crazy or take advantage of that nice, slow intro.

 
 3) The Planets, Op. 32: Mars, the Bringer of War by Gustav Holst

WAAAAAAARRRR. PREPARE YOURSELF FOR BATTLE.

 
4) …To Die For by Hans Zimmer (from The Lion King)

Kind of an outlier in this list, I know, but this piece will always be terrifying. ALWAYS.


RUN, SIMBA, RUN!!!!!!!!!

(These next three are particularly effective if it’s kind of dark or foggy out:) Continue reading