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I wouldn't have accepted board appointments to the British Museum; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Serpentine Gallery; the presidency of the Brontë Society; and now a seat on the cultural board of the first world war commemoration, if I didn't believe not only that culture belongs to all, but also that there is a duty in a democratic society to make it accessible to all, too.Writer Martina Reilly is asked about her favourite books and characters by the Irish Times.
And what is your favourite book or books now?A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, On Beauty by Zadie Smith, What is the What? by Dave Eggers. There are loads more I could mention, but these are the ones I still think about and reread. [...]XO Jane columnist Sarah Seltzer looks back on her reading history.
Who is your favourite fictional character?As a teenager it used to be Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, but now it’s Barnaby Gaitlin in A Patchwork Planet. I love character-driven novels especially when the character in question is an outsider. Anne Tyler is an expert on mining the ordinary and finding what is extraordinary. In Barnaby, she has created a wonderfully complex anti-hero. (Martin Doyle)
When I was an early adolescent, I read classics like “Little Women,” topical YA about the Underground Railroad and the Holocaust, and then approximately 200 Nancy Drew mysteries and Baby-Sitters Club books per year. As I graduated to Austen and the Brontës in middle school, my friends and I continued plowing through “junk” books.Writer John Green would seem to agree with this when he says to The Telegraph,
“Plus,” he adds sardonically, “I don’t think these books are among our larger social problems. I’m encouraged by teenagers reading for pleasure: I don’t think that books are going to make their lives worse. And isn’t it a bit odd to talk about contemporary literature that way when these kids are in school reading Dickens and Austen and Charlotte Brontë? I mean Jane Eyre doesn’t go so swimmingly all the time.” (Celia Walden)The Frisky discusses 'Guys Who Don’t Read Books By Women'.
It wasn’t long after I started using OK Cupid in late 2012 that I realized I was just looking at the same guy over and over and over. Bearded, goofy, self-effacing, liberal arts major, non-religious, burgeoning career, presents as worldly — basically, hipsters. But that’s not why I say “the same guy.” I say “the same guy” because all of them had, unfailingly, exactly the same taste in literature: Thomas Pynchon, Jorge Luis Borges, David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, Haruki Murakami, Junot Diaz, Charles Bukowski, Cormac McCarthy, Albert Camus, and Philip Roth, with a smattering of Hemingway, Thoreau, Tolstoy, Kafka, and Vonnegut to give props to the giants.Paste Magazine lists '6 Compelling Books Featuring Other Books'.
Not once did I ever see these men list Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Lee, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Bharati Mukerjee, Jamaica Kincaid, Annie Proulx, Susan Sontag, Joyce Carol Oates, or Zadie Smith. Not even Charlotte Brontë. Not even Mary Shelley. (Rebecca Vipond Brink)
2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper FfordeLes histoires sans fin (France) recommends Jane, le renard et moi.
The Eyre Affair is an insane novel; it possesses a parallel universe, time travel, literary characters coming to life and people with crazy names like Jack Schitt (seriously). Though Jane Eyre is the cornerstone of the story (hence the title), Fforde also references Dickens, Wordsworth, Poe and more.
The premise of the story is that the Crimean War has been raging on for more than a century—to the point where everyone has forgotten what the war was about. But as a matter of principle, no one wants to surrender. People have also developed both the technology for time travel and for temporarily entering a work of fiction, discovering in the process that life inside a novel has its dark side. (Emelia Fredlick)
Jane, le renard et moi (Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault, La Pastèque / Groundwood) fait partie de la sélection des meilleurs livres jeunesse illustrés de 2013 publiée par le New York Times. L'œuvre dont l'excellence a été récompensée par de multiples prix internationaux met au cœur du récit Hélène, une jeune fille victime d'intimidation à l'école. Elle trouve refuge dans le monde de Jane Eyre, le roman de Charlotte Brontë. (Anne-Sophie Tilly) (Translation)Liz Loves Books posts a guest post by the author Sarah Hilary:
Like any child, I read to escape. The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, the adventure stories of Enid Blyton, Lorna Hill’s ballet stories…Yareah Magazine reviews Wuthering Heights 1939. Livres de malice writes in French about André Téchiné's Les soeurs Brontë. With the World Cup ever so near, the Brussels Brontë Blog looks at a few football connections in the Brussels Brontë story. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page reminds us of the fact that Margaret Wooler was born on a day like today in 1792. The Brontë Society website reports that there is an opening for an intern starting in August. Blooming Twig reviews Jane Eyre.
But the greatest thrill was when I found Jane Eyre. Because I recognised this girl. This was better than escapism; this was finding myself in pages written years and years before I was born by someone who had somehow created a girl who felt the way I did and thought the way I did. That was the moment I knew: books are alchemy. Writing is alchemy.