Sunday, 18 December 2016

2016 Top Ten Lists - # 8

It was just starting to snow when I took the puppies out a few minutes ago. It was more sleety than anything. Hoping it doesn't get too heavy in the next little while as I've got to run a couple of errands before the carpenters arrive. Life in the fast lane.. :) Today I'll list my #8's in my 2016 review of songs and books.

Number 8

Song Selection

My #8 song is from Australian singer, Tina Arena. The song is from 2013, from her album Reset. You Set Fire to My Life reached #38 in Australia. Tina has such a fantastic voice. (You can hear the song by clicking on the song title)

Book Choice

Over the past few years, I've begun to read more of the Classics. I classify those as books written before 1900, to distinguish them from the more Modern Classics. I found this collection of short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, simply entitled Four Short Stories, at our local Rotary Club Book Sale in April 2013. I loved her writing style and story-telling. I plan to continue to read her work with North and South, which she wrote in 1854-55. My review of Four Short Stories is below.

"This collection of short stories contains 4 stories by writer, Elizabeth Gaskell; The Three Eras of Libbie Marsh (1847), Lizzie Leigh (1855), The Well of Pen-Morfa (1850) and The Manchester Marriage (1858). From the introduction by Anna Walters, they were unique for their time, not only because they were written by a woman but also for the subject matter.
Popular at that time were stories of the upper classes, where women chiefly looked to be married to fulfil their lives. Gaskell's stories featured women as the protagonists, women who were of the lower classes, who had to struggle to live, single mothers, seamstresses, prostitutes. The stories are hard looks at life, but at the same time, feature tenderness, love and even optimism.
I loved how she crafted these tales, well-written, well-described and thoughtful. They were very much a pleasure to read as Gaskell creates such excellent pictures and characters and stories. This was my first experience with Gaskell's writing and I'm very happy that I was able to experience her talent."

Tomorrow, I'll continue my look back at my favourites with #7.

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