Rhetorical Questions: Classical Music Style


First of all, my apologies for the hiatus. Illness can really knock you out, am I right?

And with that question, I have oh so masterfully segued into the topic of today’s post. (Mwah ha ha!)

Rhetorical Questions In Books…and Music Continue reading “Rhetorical Questions: Classical Music Style”

Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and a Piano Piece


Classical Music Stories is a series that connects music to your favorite books and characters. Since listening to classical music can be like hearing a story (albeit an abstract one), imagining specific stories that match the music can make it that much more fun and accessible!

In this short, 20th century piano piece by Ligeti (Etude No. 8 “Fem” from the second book of etudes) I imagined the Mad Hatter’s and the March Hare’s perpetual tea party, i.e. their punishment by Time: Continue reading “Classical Music Stories: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and a Piano Piece”

Books, Music

Hyperbole in Literature…and Classical Music!


“The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting `Off with his head!’ or `Off with her head!’ about once in a minute.” —Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 A man wearing a top hat in a crowded Continue reading “Hyperbole in Literature…and Classical Music!”


Which Cat Would Make a Better Pet: Crookshanks or Dinah?


I never really thought about it until I started writing this post, but there don’t seem to be a whole lot of pets in literature or YA books. (Maybe because the characters are off on crazy adventures so having a pet just doesn’t fit in the story?) Be that as it may, Crookshanks (Hermione’s cat in Harry Potter) and Dinah (Alice’s cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) are two pretty great felines. Continue reading “Which Cat Would Make a Better Pet: Crookshanks or Dinah?”

Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Stories: Alice in Wonderland


Optional Bonus Challenge: Listen to the piece first before you read the rest of this post. (It’s less than 5 minutes long and you know your poor eyes could use a break!) While you’re listening, imagine who the characters might be and what they might be doing if the music was a film score to a book you’ve read. It could be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or a different book– entirely up to you! Then you can read what I imagined below and compare the two stories (and comment letting me know how they ended up being similar or different!!).

Again, totally optional. And now without further ado: Continue reading “Classical Music Stories: Alice in Wonderland”

Books, The Other Stuff

What If Alice In Wonderland Characters Played Sports?

If Mermaids Wore Suspenders turned one year old yesterday! (I guess that means it’s sleeping more at night and will start to babble soon?) I’m thrilled that so many of you have found this blog enjoyable.  Always feel free to leave comments or email me with any questions or thoughts you may have about the blog’s content! I love exploring different viewpoints on books and music with people.

To celebrate this first blogiversary, here’s a look back at my first blog post–just in time for the Olympics!

Alice: Obstacle course racing

Just like in Wonderland, she wouldn’t Continue reading “What If Alice In Wonderland Characters Played Sports?”

Books, Music

Music In Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Final Part 4)

[Alice asks the White Rabbit her final question about the relationship between stories and classical music.  If you missed Part 3, you can find it here.]


I just have one more question, Rabbit Dear.

What is it?

I understand that a tapestry can become a table, and a table a tapestry, but why should I bother with them when you are so much smarter than I and so know the tapestry’s benefits as a tablecloth much more than I? (It is true that the White Rabbit was never averse to a bit of flattery, but here I simply said what I thought.)

Why my dear, even if I am a bit better at the table-tablecloth conundrum (he did look a bit smug, though perhaps that was simply a result of using the word “conundrum”), seeing the tablecloth on top of the table is a valuable skill!


Because tables are notoriously persnickety! One never knows where they’ve been and where they’re going.[1]

(I had always suspected this very thing of tables, and now here Continue reading “Music In Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Final Part 4)”

Books, Music

Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 3)

[Alice and the White Rabbit discuss the value of literary connections to classical music.  You can catch Part 2 here.]

I was a bit sleepy at this point from the tea, but as the Rabbit kept talking and as I liked to listen, I pinched my arm a few times and managed to stay awake.

Now my dear, do you think the Cow destroys the moon when he jumps over it in the music?[1]

I suppose he might…

But when you place a tablecloth on a table, like this one here, does there cease to be a table?

Why of course not!

 Does the table cease to be necessary?

I should say not! Without the table, the tablecloth would not be a tablecloth anymore, but just a cloth! (In reality, the tablecloth was just a cloth—rather a blanket that Continue reading “Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 3)”

Books, Music

Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 2)

[Below, the White Rabbit begins asking Alice questions as they discuss classical music.  If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.]


To start, my dear, how do you read a book?

Why, from left to right of course.

And do you start at the middle and read from Chapter 3 straight on to Chapter 57 and back to Chapter 34?

Why, certainly not! (I huffed.)

Well why ever not?

One simply can’t jump around in “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.” Otherwise, the Dish would have run away with the moon while the Cow laughed at the Diddle Dog.

Quite right, my dear—well said. Well then, how do you listen to music?

…The same way I read a book, I suppose.

 Very good—very good. Now, if you read a book in order and listen to music in order, what does that say about the book? Continue reading “Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 2)”

Books, Music

Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 1)

You know, when I listened to music I never knew what was down from what was up, or what was up from what was down, or down was what or up what was down…oh, what to do! But you see, later when I met up with the dear White Rabbit (we had a spot of tea, though I don’t much see the point in having only a spot when you can have the whole thing), he explained it this way:

My Dear Alice, he said (he was quite fond of me the poor dear, and even more so when I fixed him up about the spot of tea), I don’t know a fugue-ata from a varicaglia,[1] but I do know Tweedle Dee from Tweedle Dum (I’m afraid I still do not!), the Mock Turtle from the Mad Hatter, the birthday cake from the…where was I?

The fugue-aglia?

Oh, yes! Well, I don’t mind telling you this, though it is strictly forbidden and…
Continue reading “Music in Wonderland: The White Rabbit’s Proof (Part 1)”