Catherine Morland’s Reading List

So I was at the library and shelving some books when I came across The Inn at Half Moon Bay by Diane Tyrell. It was described as a Gothic novel and I thought Catherine Morland would totally read this.

So if it is something she would read, I need to read it.

So then I started thinking about all the other book Catherine Morland would read. Like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Frankestein, etc. All the books mentioned in Northanger Abbey and ones that were published at the time and after.

Wow!

I then thought, oh it would be nice of I could review this on my blog and the other books.

Why not start a new series, Catherine Moreland’s Reading List? Here I would review books that Catherine Morland would read: Gothic novels.

I know, I know-haven’t I already started two other series recently?

Not to mention all the Austen remakes I have listed out to review?

Yes, but you know me. I like to challenge myself.

Yeah, plus you know I love to read.

So books on this list are going to be Gothic novels. For those wondering what classifies a book as a Gothic Novel, here is the definition.

Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.

So some of these books I have already reviewed, and the rest are what I plan on doing in the future.

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Jamacia Inn by Daphne du Marier

Rebecca by Daphne du Marier

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Necromancer, or The Tale of the Black Forest by Karl Friedrich Kahlert

The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

The Castle of Wolfenbach: A German Story by Eliza Parsons

The Mysterious Warning by Eliza Parsons

The Murders in the Rue Morgue” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe

“The Tell-Tale Heart” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe

The Italian by Ann Radcliffe

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve 

Clermont by Regina Maria Roche

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Orphan of the Rhine by Eleanor Sleath

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Inn at Half Moon Bay by Diane Tyrell

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

For more Gothic Novels, go to Book Club Picks: Wuthering Heights

For more book lists, go to The Retellings Strike Back: Pride & Prejudice, cont.

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers

So if you are like me, you love Jane Austen:

You like to read her books:

And watch her movies:

But with only six completed and published books, sometimes you want more Austen stuff. There are variations on her stories, but sometimes you don’t want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but what to read?

Hmm…

So I decided that I would do a series of reviews on books that are Non-Austen books, but ones I think Austen fans will love.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Someone to Care (Westcott Novel #4) by Mary Balogh

A Love for Keeps (Brides of Arkansas #1) by Janet Lee Barton

The Widow of Larkspur Inn (Gresham Chronicles #1) by Lawana Blackwell

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

Homespun Bride (The McKaslin Clan Historical #2) by Jillian Hart

Julie by Catherine Marshall

Anna and the Duke (An Avon True Romance #3) by Kathryn Smith

A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1) by Jen Turano

A Long Fatal Love Chase

LongFatalLoveChase

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

This book by Louisa May Alcott is the anti-Northanger Abbey. That is everything that could go wrong. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first some background.

This book was written in 1866. Alcott had just returned from her job as a companion to a wealthy women during her trip abroad and all throughout Europe. When Alcott came home she discovered that her father had run through almost all their money. Eager to do her part in helping out, she started writing stories and attempted to get them published.

Newspapers were the big story publishers, printing them week by week and often paying per word. Now this was before radio and TV, so these weekly publications of stories was their version of soap operas, every week ending on a cliffhanger.

Since the purpose was to get the reader hooked and constantly buying to find what happened next, they really wanted dramatic stories. Alcott did her best to oblige, only problem? She did a little too well.

Her book was not published as it was far too racy for the day. Think of it as the Fifty Shades of Grey of the 19th century. Yep this novel deals with sex, violence, obsession, abuse, hypocrisy in religion, greed, the question of insanity, mistreatment of women, women’s rights, divorce, bigamy, suicide, murder, etc.

What?

While today’s audiences would go for all that, those back in 1866 dropped it like a hot potato. Alcott shelved the book, it not being published until 1995.

Wow

How Does It Relate to Northanger Abbey?

Hmm…

Well, first you have to understand how Northanger Abbey came about.

In 1605, Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, was published. This book told the story of Don Quixote, a Spanish nobleman, who reads so many chivalric and romantic  stories (not romance stories as we have today, but the “classical romances”) that he sort of loses his sanity trying to live those values and live in that world, in the modern 17th century. He gets into all kind of crazy antics, battling other “knights”, “monsters”, etc.

In 1752, Charlotte Lennox parodied Don Quixote with her novel, The Adventures of Arabella also known as The Female Quixote. Her story is about a young girl, Arabella, who has been sequestered away in the middle of nowhere with just her father for companionship. Not encountering many people and her mother dying + father ignoring her; she learned all about people and how to interact with them from “classical romances”. This book goes over the problems of having read so many “romance novels”, you expect life to follow, only to be sorely disappointed.

Now Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, published in 1818, was meant to be a parody of The Female Quixote, gothic fiction, societal rules of the day, etc. One of the reasons why a lot of people don’t “get” this novel is that they don’t understand what she is poking fun at or trying to say about these subjects.

Hmm…

In Austen’s story, we have a young girl, Catherine, who has been raised not as sequestered as Arabella, but definitely in the country resulting in some naivety. She loves romance novels and gothic fiction, giving her an overactive imagination.

She is asked to accompany family friends to Bath for a season and while there finds herself encountering some of the problems of the other before mentioned characters. Her education in romance novels didn’t prepare her for how people act. Her overactive imagination does get the best of her as well. The other thing about this book is that Catherine does go through some events that are right out of a romance novel or gothic tale.

She meets two handsome strangers, both trying to win her; encounters some dangerous and immoral men; gets caught up in a plot to get money; and has the man of her dreams come after her to tell her he loves her.

So awesome!

And then we have A Long Fatal Love Chase, written in 1866, and follows the same veins as these other books, except taking a much darker twist.

Now I don’t know if Alcott has read any of these authors and set out to copy part of their ideas or what; but the stories are so similar I can’t help but believe that at least one of these authors inspired her.

The Plot:

A Long Fatal Love Chase, begins with our heroine Rosamund or Rose. She has lived on a small island with her grandfather ever since her parents died when she was very young. She has encountered no other people, from the time of her parent’s death, and therefore has a lot of naivete and a lack of propriety as she doesn’t know better.

Just living in my own world

Life with her grandfather is dreary, as he provides for the physical things (shelter, clothes, food, etc) but ignores Rose and doesn’t care for her emotional being.

This makes her wish that she could have someone take her away from it all, just like in the romance novels. In fact she states

“I would give my soul to the devil, for a year of freedom.”

Enter Philip Tempest.

Tall, brooding, handsome, rich, has a swashbuckling scar, sails around the world on his yacht, etc.

He comes to visit Rosamund’s grandfather and is quite taken with Rose’s sweet disposition, naivete, and young, innocent character. Rose falls in love with him, and dreams of the possibility that he might take her away from everything.

Tempest wants Rose and is not a man used to hearing NO. He plays cards with the grandfather, winning Rose.

I’m taking her.

He carries her away in his boat telling her that he is the master and she must serve him. He wants her only as his mistress, but Rose refuses anything until they are married. Tempest reluctantly agrees.

Women

A year later the couple are living in France to attend the gaieties. Besides Rose and Tempest, their party includes Baptiste, Tempest’s right hand man who does everything he says, and Impolito “Lito”, a Greek cabin boy who looks very familiar (aka Tempest’s child, very obvious). All has been great for the couple until Tempest runs into an old friend Willoughby. Willoughby???!!!

He knows something that Tempest is determined to keep hidden, so Tempest kills him.

Gasp!

Unbeknownst to him, a girl from a flower shop delivers a note to Lito, who then runs off to a secret meeting. Rose sees this and comments on it to Tempest. Tempest becomes so furious that Lito would “correspond” with her, that he sends him away.

Hmm…

Later Rose overhears Baptiste telling Tempest that “no one will find him in the grove.” When she goes to investigate she discovers a  mound of dirt as in a new grave, and the pin she gave Lito.

She starts to think that Tempest might have killed Lito. She still has her doubts, of which all are dashed when she overhears another conversation. This time she overhears a conversation between Tempest and a woman, a woman who is HIS WIFE.

Yes Lito is their son, of which Tempest took when he left his wife. He has wanted a divorce but she won’t grant him one unless he gives her custody of their son, something Tempest would never do. He has been sailing around the world with many mistresses, content if not fully happy. He met Rose and faked the marriage in order to make her happy, knowing that it was void. Rose becomes distraught at his lies and betrayal of trust and runs away.

Noooo!

So here’s where it gets even more dramatic. We see a man from a romance character ready to make your dreams come true, right? Wrong! Tempest is an abuser and a controller. He tells Rose that her loves her, but in truth having her being subservient gives him power. Where ever she runs, he chases her, intent on making her his. We have the anti-Northanger Abbey as instead of a dreamy, true life romance hero; we have a sociopath.

Now some may wonder why is Tempest evil, but Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre who does a similar thing romantic? Well for two reasons. The first is that Mr. Rochester was tricked into marrying his wife by his family, who wanted a merger with their business and her family, who no longer wanted to take care of her. They hid the illness well, and when Mr. Rochester discovered how crazy she was it was too late, and those who are insane can’t get divorced. He’s stuck with her.

He has to live with a woman who is more animalistic than human and constantly trying to murder him.

Tempest married a beautiful, wealthy, Greek-English girl; become bored and left. He hates being tied down and loves being in power. He stole their child from his wife and covered it up by having her told Lito was dead. She was heartbroken as she believed him, only discovering the lie when Willoughby writes to her.

Mr. Rochester does try to marry Jane as he falls in love with her, but is stopped from committing bigamy by his wife’s brother. Jane leaves, and as much as he doesn’t want her to go, he respects her wishes and leaves her alone.

Aw!

Tempest marries Rose, having a friend pretend to be a preacher and perform the wedding service. Rose finds out and leaves, Tempest refuses to acknowledge her feelings and actions and stalks her.

What a psycho!

Rose starts work with a seamstress in a French village, but Tempest finds her barricaded in her room. He tells her that he will be getting the divorce soon, and then they can be together forever. That night Rose escapes, with help from a friend, and finds refuge with an actress. She spends some happy time there, and even reunites with Lito, who was not killed but sent somewhere. All is not perfect as Tempest finds them again, and the two flee.

I’m out!

Rose to a convent and Lito to his mother. Later Rose discovers a dead body, and she plants evidence so that people would think it was her.

Hmm…

Rose enjoys being in the convent and serving, paying penance for her sins. She befriends the two priests; Father Dominic the elder, and Father Ignatius, young and deeply in love with Rose. Rose seeks help from Father Dominic to overcome her love and temptation to return to Tempest, only to discover that both the Mother Superior and Father Dominic sold her out to Tempest.

She escapes Tempest again, and reunites with the Comté who’s daughter she saved from dying of fever. He takes care of her and falls in love, asking her to marry him. She agrees and gets ready to, when Tempest finds her once again. He convinces the Comté that Rose is his wife and insane.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

As the Comté deserts her, and Tempest is preparing to carry her off, Rose commits suicide, shooting herself.

Unfortunately the shot to her side wasn’t deadly, but does have her thrown into a mental institution (from yours truly Tempest). There she lives some horrible and demoralizing days. She manages to convince Baptiste to turn to her side and help her escape the asylum, only to discover it is another ploy by Tempest to capture her.

AAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tempest carries her away to a remote island, intent on being kind and sweet, wooing her. He is divorced now and wants Rose for his wife and forever. She ends up being saved by Father Ignatious, fleeing to the safety of Tempest’s ex-wife, but finds out that getting out of the Tempest is not easy.

Will it ever be over?

Was the Book Good?

I thought this book was very interesting. And had some pros and cons.

Pros:

First I recommend this book for all Alcott fans as it is so strikingly different from her other works. All the other novels: Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys, The Inheritance, etc.; were dramatic and fun stories; but nowhere near as sensational and traumatic as this book. If it hadn’t said Louisa May Alcott on the cover, I never would have guessed it was something she has written. You won’t understand until you read it and get a shock.

I’m in shock

What also is fascinating is how Alcott brings to light how much power men have over women at this time, and the inequality in relationships. You have to remember this was not done at the time. Women were men’s property and they could not only do as they wished, but held all the power. I don’t know how many of you saw The Duchess, starring Keira Knightly, but look how unfair women are treated. Georgina is a Duke’s wife but is forced to share her home with the Duke’s mistress and the mistress’ children. When she steps out on him, she loses everything; position in society, her children, etc. He gets to do whatever he wants, hit her, embarrass her, rape her; but she has to follow society’s rules.

So not fair!!

This is what happens in this book. Tempest is abusive, a stalker, and a psychopath; but gets to continue in his behavior because he is male. When Father Ignatious helped Rose escape the convent and reach the Comté, he writes the Comté a letter with all that happened and warning him against Tempest. Yet when Tempest comes, the Comté easily believes the woman is crazy, rather than this charismatic man is what Rose and the Priest say he is.

Alcott also brings to light abusive relationships, stalking, what it feels like, etc. This book is sort of the 19th century’s version of Sleeping With the EnemyHere Alcott is clearly showing that this behavior is wrong and should not be accepted.

Cons:

It was too dramatic for my taste. I’m not really a soap opera/telanovela type person. The end in which she is in love with the priest and the priest loves her but both resolve to do nothing about it was not only too flowery, but boring.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Northanger Abbey variations, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Prude & Prejudice

In Celebration of Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey? I’m sure there are many of you out there who have no clue what I am talking about.

Huh?

Its one of Jane Austen’s last novels, published by her brother after her death. It is also an amazing book that hardly anyone knows.

It really is sad

So we are here to spread some Northanger Abbey around as this year marks its 200th anniversary!

Like what I did with Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibilityand EmmaI will be going through Northanger Abbey and sharing with you everything about it.

The book is a parody of romantic fiction and gothic novels.

It has a great main character, Catherine Morland (which my pseudonym comes from) who we can easily connect to. We all feel like Catherine at times in our lives, hoping that we will have an adventure and meet a dashing hero.

And it has a great leading man in Mr. Tilney. I mean it! Once you read about him, he is a real contender for the number one Austen hero.

Yep a great book that I can’t wait to start celebrating and spreading!

Besides going through the book I will be also reviewing things that are referenced in it, inspirational to the book, and those inspired by it.

Books:

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan by Christina Boyd

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

The Necromancer or The Tale of the Black Forest by Karl Friedrich Kahler

Jet Set by Carrie Doyle Karasyov and Jill Kargman

Henry Tilney’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #6) by Amanda Grange

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries #2) by Jenni James

Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom

The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella by Charlotte Lennox

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (Supernatural Jane Austen Series #2) by Vera Nazarian & Jane Austen

The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons

 The Mysterious Warnings by Eliza Parsons

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Clermont by Regina Maria Roche

Orphan of the Rhine by Eleanor Sleath

Northpointe Chalet (Austen Series #4) by Debra White Smith

Film:

American Dreamer (1984)

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Northanger Abbey (1986)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Other:

Pup Fiction, Wishbone (1995)

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Catherine Morland, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more Mr. Tilney, go to Midnight in Austenland

A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

So last year to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, I did 13 (because it was 2013) of my favorite snake moments from films, Snakes on a Post.  Last year I couldn’t post on the actual first day of the New Year because of my Romance is in the Air posts got in the way. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on the 31st of January, so I decided to do 14 of my favorite horse characters from films and books (which was a bit harder than expected). I created it in the same style of my Saint Patrick’s Day and 25 Films of Christmas posts, as it is harder to choose a “horsey moment” from a film than a “snake one”.

HorseCard

Horses were born in the years 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, & 2014.

Horses are a bunch of contradictions. They are cool & hot-blooded, hard-nosed & humble, impatient & tolerant, but above all a hard worker and self-relient.  Horses work well in groups but prefer to work by themselves.

In social settings they are cheerful, charismatic, & overly talkative; but they are often the first to depart, usually because they feel too ‘”penned in”. They are happiest in large crowds and open spaces. In romance they have a need for intimacy & belonging. They often fill pressured in fulfilling family obligations, and remain at heart rebellious creatures.

They tend to do poorly with finances and budgets. Horses love to travel and are suited for careers as adventurers, poets, travel writers, or politicians.

Horses are compatible with Tigers, Dogs, & Sheep.

Famous people who were horses were Louisa May Alcott, Davy Crockett, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, Ella Fitzgerald, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson,Genghis Khan,  Paul McCarthy,  Teddy Roosevelt, & Mike Tyson.

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So here we go:

Had to add it in!

Had to add it in!

Horse & horseshoes

chester

14) Chester

Chester is a wild mustang that is trying to find a family. He tries to go off with the cowboys that are capturing wild horses, but they won’t take him because he seems too tame. He then goes into the city to try and find a place of belonging; going on the carousal, pretending to be a statue, etc.

Best Horse Ever: Chester

I LOVED this book as a child, that is the real reason why its on this list. I used to read it ALL the time. Chester is an adorable horse who just wants to belong. As a kid you are heartbroken at all the rejection he faces, but even though that happens Chester is never cynical at life, but just keeps trying to find his place and belonging in life. I always wanted Chester as my own, to a five-year old he just seemed like the greatest horse ever.

Horse & horseshoes

bill_the–pony

13) The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of a young hobbit, Frodo, who is given the task of making a treacherous journey across Middle-Earth to Mount Doom, to destroy the Ring of Power. He is joined by: three other hobbits, Sam, Merry, and Pippin; Aragorn, a man and the next ruler of Gondor; Gandalf the Grey, a Wizard; Gimli, the dwarf; Legolas the elf; and Boromir, a man and son of the Ruling Steward of the realm of Gondor; creating a “Fellowship of the Ring”.

Best Horse Ever: Bill the Pony

Bill is bought at the Prancing Pony, to replace the horses stolen from the group. Bill, is Sam’s pony, who Sam loves and tenderly cares for as he does everything. Bill travels with the group to Moria, but has to be left behind as he couldn’t go through the mine with the others. Bill is attacked and thought dead, but returns to Bree. He finds Sam again and is there for him forever, always a noble and trusty steed.

Horse & horseshoes

Altivo

12) The Road to El Dorado

Two conmen, Miguel and Tulio, accidentally sneak aboard Cortez’s ship heading for the Americas. They try to escape without notice and find themselves in a boat with Cortez’s horse Altivo. When they arrive in South America, they use a map they won in a poker game to find El Dorado, the City of Gold. The three discover it and are mistaken as gods. They then have to fight the evil high priest and protect the city and people from being overtaken by the Cortez’s conquistadors.

Best Horse Ever: Altivo

Altivo is an extremely intelligent horse. When the two guys are trapped on the ship, they try to get Altivo to find them something to break open the bars in exchange for an apple, but he does better than that, he fetches them the keys. And Altivo always steps in to help the guys when they need him.

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shadowfax

11) The Two Towers The Return of the King

The Two Towers– The fellowship has been split up. Frodo and Sam have seperated from the group and are lead by Gollum, one who has been corrupted by the evil of the ring and determined to get it back. Pippin and Merry have been captured by Orcs, managing to escape from them and flee into the Fangorn Forest. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are on the trail of the captured Hobbits when they meet up with an old friend and set out to help Rohan win against the evil of Sauron.

The Return of the King–The last book of the series. The Shadow of Mordor and Sauron’s power grows across the land, and the companions of the Ring are still involved in separate adventures, but the battle draws them all together in Gondor. Pippin and Gandalf are in the capital, Minas Tirith, to prepare the kingdom. The call of help has been sent out, and the neighboring kingdoms send aid. Aragorn, who has been revealed as the heir of Gondor, has been helping Rohan in their fight. He, Legolas, and Gimli seperate from them and head into the mountains to recruit the Army of the Dead. Merry has joined the Rohan army and prepares to enter battle. Frodo and Sam face the challenge of navigating Mordor to complete the quest of destroying the ring.

Best Horse Ever: Shadowfax

Shadowfax plays a substantial role in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King. He is a  Mearasa horse of high intelligence, strength, and has a long lifespan. He is a beautiful, silver, stallion and can understand the speech of men. He is brave, smart, and can run faster than any other horse in Middle-Earth. Like any true wild animal, he is not easily broken. Shadowfax allows no one but  Gandalf to ride him. The two share such a strong bond that Shadowfax follows Gandalf to the West so that the two will never have to be parted.

Horse & horseshoes

Bullseye

10) Toy Story 2

Having survived the new toy Buzz Lightyear and the move across town, all the toys are settling in nicely as a family. However, things take a turn for the worst when an injured Woody gets left at home instead of being taken to cowboy camp, and then accidentaly placed in a yard sale and stolen. Al, the thief, is trying to complete Woody’s Roundup to sale to a collecter in Japan. At Al’s home, Woody meets the other members of the gang; Jesse, a cowgirl; Stinky Pete, the prospector; and Bullseye, Woody’s trusty steed. Buzz and the rest of the gang come to save him, but when they get there Woody is not so sure he wants to return home.

Best Horse Ever: Bullseye

Bullseye is so adorable, he is like a giant puppy. Bullseye is always trying to help out the other members of the gang; like trying to get Woody his arm, helping play the record, etc. He is disheartened at the thought of Woody going back to Andy, as he is so sad to lose him. Later, he helps both Woody and Buzz try and save Jesse from being taken to Japan, riding “like the wind” to reach the airplane that was carrying her off in time. Always loyal and one you can count on. 🙂

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Khan–Mulan

9) Mulan

When the Huns invade China and every family is requested to send men to the front, Mulan makes a decision that puts her whole life at peril. She decides to dress up as a man and take her father’s place, pretending to be his son. She is aided by Mushu, a dragon pretending to have powers; Cricket, supposdly lucky, and Khan, her trusted horse. Mulan discovers that there is more to being in the army and a man in this zany animation.

Best Horse Ever: Khan

Khan is an amazing horse. He charges off with Mulan for battle, never complaining about entering the fray. He not only carries Mulan on his back but also the supplies of the Chinese army. He cares strongly for Mulan, going for her when there is an avalanche, to giving up his blanket and using his body to keeping her warm. Everyone hopes their pet loves them 1/10th of the love that Khan gives out.

Horse & horseshoesachilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

8) Achilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo lives in the Notre Dame bell tower. The only one who knows of his existence is the evil and cruel Judge Frollo. He escapes one day to go to the Festival of Fools meeting Esmerelda a beautiful gypsy. He is discovered and thrown in the stocks. Esmerelda defys Frollo and frees him, assisted by Captain Phoebus. Esmerelda hides away in Notre Dame to save herself from Frollo’s wrath, and becomes better friends with Quasimodo and Phoebus. Quasimodo must make a choice on whether to help his friends or betray the only father figure he has ever known. In the end, Frollo wages a war on the gypsys, Esmerelda, and Notre Dame. Quasimodo and Captain Phoebus lead a battle against him, and free all from his horrible grasp.

Best Horse Ever: Achilles

Achilles is Captain Phoebus’ horse and one amazing animal. He is always there for his master, helping at all times; mostly through his having learned the command to “heel”. When ever Phoebus says Achilles heel (a pun on the mythological hero), Achilles sits on the enemy; saving Esmerelda and others. He is so cute and adorable.

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Tangled-Maximus

7) Tangled

Tangled is a retelling of RapunzelIn the story, Rapunzel has been locked away by a witch, Mother Gothel, because her hair contains healing properties. A thief, Flynn Rider, has just stolen the King’s crown and is being chased by the palace guards, when he stops at Rapunzel’s tower to lose them. Overpowered by Rapunzel and her trusty cast iron frying pan, the two strike a deal in which Flynn will take Rapunzel to the kingdom to see the “floating lights” and in exchange Rapunzel will return the crown to him. Along the way they are aided by other bandits and the head guard’s  horse, Maximus; while being chased by the castle guards, Flynn’s ex-partners-in-crime, and Mother Gothel.

Best Horse Ever: Maximus

While Maximus is on the “bad” side, as we are all rooting for Flynn, he soon joins our heros in their quest. He is the only “officer” who is able to follow the duo and strikes a deal that he will not arrest Flynn until after he has granted Rapunzel’s quest. (Rapunzel should go into sales, she is a real wheeler-dealer.) Maximus becomes friends with Rapunzel and her chameleon Pascal, joining in on all the events that Rapunzel wants to partake in. He even grows to like Flynn, rescuing him after he is arrested and sentenced to death. The pair then ride off to save Rapunzel from the evil Mother Gothel. So even though Maximus wants to uphold the law and do what is right, even he understands when one is in a gray area and has to throw out the rule book.

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Samsonsleepingbeauty

6) Sleeping Beauty

Aurora was given the gifts of beauty and grace from her fairy godmothers, but was also cursed with death. While her third godmother couldn’t reverse the spell she changed it so that when she is sixteen and pricks her finger she will not die, only fall asleep, and will wake with true love’s first kiss. All the sewing spindles are burned and Aurora is hidden away in the forest until her sixteen birthday has ended. However, even with such precautions, Aurora still falls prey to her curse. Prince Phillip, her true love, has been locked away by the evil Witch, Maleficent. The fairy’s free him and he has to battle thorn bushes and a dragon to save her.

Best Horse Ever: Samson

First let me say Aurora was always my favorite princess and Prince Phillip my fav prince (more on him later). I LOVE this film! ( I LOVE him!) Sorry, had to get that out of my system, anyways,  Samson is Prince Phillip’s horse. We are first introduced to him when Phillip hears Aurora singing in the forest. Now Samson is pretty smart, and doesn’t want to follow the voice for fear that it belongs to an evil fairy, wood nymph, siren, or other magical creature that could enchant and hurt his master. However, like any guy, Samson is easily persuaded when he is offered an extra amount of food. Samson is a great horse that cares for Phillip, helping him escape Maleficent’s lair, riding through the thorn bushes (major ouch), and fighting Maleficent in her dragon form.

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5) Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit is a mustang and the leader of his herd. The story follows his capture by the U.S. Army, escape and time with the Lakota people, recapture by the U.S. army (this time having to help construct the railroad), and his return to the herd.

Best Horse Ever: Spirit

First let me say I HATE Matt Damon. I HATE his acting with a passion. I don’t really know why, but he just annoys me to a great extent. I can only stomach a few movies with him; The Brother’s Grimm (I didn’t recognize him the first time with the wig he wears), Ocean’s Eleven (he acts like a stupid kid who doesn’t know anything and that works for me), and The Departed (because he’s a rat and Mark Wahlberg shoots him). Now you may be asking yourself, what does Matt Damon have to do with Spirit? Well, this is the fourth Matt Damon movie that I like, mostly because for the longest time I didn’t realize that Matt Damon played Spirit. Spirit is a great horse, as he never allows himself to be broken by anyone, but prizes his freedom above all else. He suffers through adversity, pain, etc; but continues to push through until he makes it out and into freedom. He falls for another horse, Rain, and when she is injured he stays by her side, until he is captured and forced to return to the U.S. calvary camp. Later, when they are both freed again, Spirit takes Rain off to join his herd.

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Topthorn War HOrse

4) Topthorn War Horse

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. Joey survives, but Topthorn doesn’t make it.

Best Horse Ever: Topthorn

Topthorn is not only a beautiful horse but a loyal one. At first he dislikes Joey, but the two quickly become best friends. When Joey is taken and to be separated from him, Topthorn goes after him to make sure he is okay. Topthorn never lets anything happen  to his pal Joey, put always puts himself first to save him from any pain.

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3) Black Beauty Black Beauty

This is a great book that has had many films versions made of it.

Black Beauty tales the story of a beautiful black horse and his adventures in life. He starts off with a good master, and gets sold and passed around, sometimes treated well and other times mistreated by his owners. The reason that Anna Sewell wrote the novel was to bring awareness of the mistreatement that animals, espechially horses were facing in Victorian England; abuse, whippings, bearing rein (a strap used to keep horses’ heads high, fashionable in Victorian England but painful and damaging to a horse’s neck), and the use of blinkers on horses.

Best Horse Ever: Black Beauty

Black Beauty is always kind and helpful to his masters, even when the owners are harmful and abusing him. Beauty saves John Manly, his caretaker, in the beginning of the novel. Later, when he is caught in a barn fire, he won’t leave until his friend Ginger is taken care of. He’s just a beautiful and caring animal.

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2) Animal Farm

Orwell’s dystopian “fairy tale” is an allegory for Communist Russia. In the story, Old Major (Lenin), a pig, convinces the other the animals that they need to get rid of their parasitical human rulers.   The animals do so, lead by Snowball and Napoleon. They decide that they will rule their farm fairly and justly, with all being equal. All seems good, until Snowball is driven out and Napoleon (Stalin) institutes himself as ruler of the farm, backed by his canine army (KGB). Under Napoleon’s rule, equality no longer exists as the pigs are elevated to higher positions and not made to work as hard as the others. The farm and the original ideals of Old Major soon begin to die off and become problematic to all.

Best Horse Ever: Boxer (spoiler alert: Do not read the next paragraph if you wish to read the book and do not want any part of the plot given away)

Boxer’s story is so, so sad. I loved him but was heartbroken when he died. 😥 Now Boxer might not be the smartest, but he has the most caring heart of all. Boxer, symbolizes the working class of Russia that gets shafted with Communism, caring and trying to do the best for his farm and fellow mammals. He always tries to work harder and carry his extensive load and others. He often goes without food, giving his share to the others, as he is a strong horse and can go without. The pigs see him as a threat as his strength and popularity could really cause a revolution, that is if Boxer contained any guile at all. The saddest thing ever is that he works so hard for the farm and others, and instead of being rewarded with a pasture to live out the rest of his life, they send him to the knackers to be turned into glue. 😥 OMG that part made me bawl like a baby.

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1) Joey War Horse (2011)

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. In the end Joey is reunited with his master.

Best Horse Ever: Joey

Albert’s father buys Joey to get back at his landlord, but finds himself at a loss of what to do as Joey is not a farm horse. Albert takes Joey out and trains him, first caring and getting him to trust him; along with teaching him to answer his whistle. The two form a strong bond, and while no one believes they can do it; Albert still encourages Joey and his support causes Joey to plow through that field. HOwever, due to an unexpected storm the family loses their crops and have to sell the horse. There Joey takes care of his new master, until he is captured by the German army. By this time Joey and Topthorn have become friends, and while Topthorn will do anything for Joey; Joey will do anything for Topthorn. One of the best/saddest scenes is when the two are captured by the German army a second time and forced to cart machinery (similar to Spirit and his railroad building); a process that severely damages and kills the horses; Joey steps in for Topthorn. At this time, Topthorn had been severely injured and wouldn’t last long, but Joey steps in to save him. Although the evil commanding officer kills Topthorn anyway, jerk! Later, after Joey has been saved and reunited with Albert, he is put up for auction (as is the rule) and bought by someone else. But Joey doesn’t want to leave. He wants to be with Albert, because he really loves and cares for him. He is freed and sets off with Albert, proving that some bonds can never be broken.

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I hope this year is an amazing one! 🙂

Words to Live By

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Words to live by. This is pretty much one of my mottos. One of the best things in life is a great book, tasty cup of tea, comfy chair, and a warm blanket. 😀

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Not much!

For a previous book related post go to If Only