Book Club Picks: O Pioneers!

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I was catching up. ¬†I am only one behind now. ūüôā

Yay!

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. The next one was my turn and I picked one of my favorites:

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

This won’t be a long post as I talked about it two years ago during my 30-day book challenge (which I never finished. Oops!)

Oh, well

I love this book so much. I’m not sure what else I could add. The other day I did a post on how sad it is that Jane Austen’s¬†Northanger Abbey is so ignored when it is such a good book-and I feel the same way about this one. This is such an amazing novel! But is so ignored by people, why?

Why? Why do they treat you this way?

So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into five parts. The first part talks of the Swedish immigrants, the Bergsons, who moved to Nebraska for a better life. They find it not as they hope and after many struggles finally seem to be eking out a living. But then! The patriarch of the family, John,  is dying and decides to leave the control of everything to his daughter Alexandra.

What?

Yes, he doesn’t care about anything but what is good for the family. And he knows the only one who will keep things going right is Alexandra and she should be in charge, even though she is female.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

While everything prospers for them, others aren’t doing well and selling the land to move on to “greener pastures.” One of which is the man Alexandra is in love with. He knows he isn’t a farmer and doesn’t want to use her, but wants to be her equal.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

It is so sad as you want them to be together!

It doesn’t matter to Alexandra, she doesn’t care! She loves him and wants to spend her life with him whether he has everything or nothing.

I talk about this all the time that husband calls it “the book you love”. He’ll say “I know, its like the book you love” or “you are like that girl in the book you love”, or “it’s like that book you love” etc.

Or years.

Poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form]¬†Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

The second section of the novel it has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed much has changed. The Bergsons have thrived under Alexandra’s leadership and are very wealthy. In fact Alexandra was able to send her youngest brother, Emil off to college.

Wow

Poor Alexandra is alone still pining for her love. He comes back for a visit but still has nothing so he feels he can’t marry her.

Noooo!

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether¬†I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

Why can’t you stay Carl?!!! Why leave her alone?!!

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

Emil ends up going to Mexico. He loves their neighbor, Marie, but she is already married and he wants to stay away. Him leaving makes Alexandra more alone than ever-she has no one.

 

The rest of the book is just as good and sad. You need to read it for yourself. You’ll love it just like my book club did.

Alexandra is the best character. She has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy. She kind, caring, compassionate, and doesn’t live her life following the rules and dictates of other people.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: This Present Darkness

For more on O Pioneers, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

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By Boat, By Train, By Foot, By Plane

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28) Somewhere You Would Like to Move to or Visit

There are actually quite a few places I would love to visit. As you all know, I’m all about history and art history so I would like to eventually travel the world and see some of these things.

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1) Italy

I’ve always wanted to see Venice, Rome, Florence, & Sicily. There’s the Sistine Chapel, the colosseum, Masaccio’s works, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci…I could go on and on.

Italian Job

For more in Italy, go to¬†I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

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2) Denmark

As stated before, I am Danish and really want to visit the country. I would love to go to the Hans Christian Anderson Museum, along with other

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3) Mexico

I have already been here once, but there is still so much I want to see, Chitzen Itza being one of them.

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4) Egypt

I have been obsessed with Egypt ever since I was young, I guess I saw¬†The Mummy one too many times. I have always loved looking at the Pyramids and really want to see them in person one day. Although I probably die from heatstroke. ūüôā J/K

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For more on Egypt, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

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5) England

Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Downton Abbey, North & South, Charles Dickens, the Beatles, the Who, etc. Some of the best things have come out of England and I would love to go visit, instead of reading about it.

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For more on England, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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6) Greece

Once again the Art and architecture call me to them. Not to mention the island of Crete and Mount Olympus.

I can do this....just have to wait for the right time

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7) China

I have always wanted to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Always.

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8) France

The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Impressionist artwork, etc. I would love to see this place as well.

For more on France, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

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9) Prince Edward Island

I LOVE Anne of Green Gables and really, really want to see the place. REALLY, really bad.

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For more on Prince Edward Island, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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10) Ireland

I took a class on Irish History and just fell in love with it. I really want to visit it now.

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11) Scotland

I have always wanted to visit Loch Ness and try and spot the Loch Ness Monster (it’s out there). And after seeing¬†Braveheart and reading¬†The Cat Who Series¬†I was introduced into Scotland and it’s history, making me want to visit even more.

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12) All 50 States of the United States

I love American history as it is so interesting and complex. One day I want to visit every one of our states and every monument. So far I have been to Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Only 42 left to go. ūüôā

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Ya Bothering Me

I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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I’ll be back!

So¬†The Terminator is one of the best Horror-ScFi films ever! It is also one of the best Sci-fi films ever! It is one of the best ’80s films ever! It is one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger films ever! It is one of my all-time favorote films!

love it

I think it is incredibly awesome! Did you know the initial draft for the movie was sold to¬†James Cameron’s wife,¬†Gale Anne Hurd¬†for the price of $1 only.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So the film starts off in May 12, 1984 (We just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. That’s why I had to review it) with two beings from the year 2029 ¬†(we have 15 years left! I’m going to be alive then, woah!!!) Anyways, one is the¬†Terminator T-800 Model 101, the cyborg assassin who is there to hunt down Sarah Connor and take her out before she can get pregnant and give birth to the father of the future resistance and the only threat to computer control. I just love this opening scene as you see how BA and hardcore the Terminator is.

Arnold Schwarzenegger¬†originally wanted to play Kyle Reese. But James Cameron had a different idea and saw Schwarzenegger in the title role of The Terminator. After all as Cameron told¬†Schwarzenegger, “This movie is not about the hero. It’s about The Terminator”. Just like Barney said:

The second person is Kyle Reese, sent by Sarah’s son to protect her. I love this actor as I just think he is so cute! And its funny, because everything I see him in I always think of him as Kyle Reese.

Anyways, so as Reese is tracking him down, the Terminator is looking for Sarah. He starts going through the telephone book and just mowing down every Sarah he runs into.

Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns everyday for a month to prepare for the role; the first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine. He spent hours at the shooting range, practicing with different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading or cocking; he also had to be ambidextrous. He practiced different moves up to 50 times.

keanu Whoa

Meanwhile, Sarah is unknowingly is going on with her normal life. She makes plans to go out to the club, while her friend is going to hang out at home with her boyfriend. When Sarah’s out she sees a news report¬†on the TV about Sarah Conner’s being murdered and calls her friend at home to warn her. Unfortunately, she’s just missed her. She has already been terminated.

Couldn't resist

I know, i know

The Terminator hears her message and tracks her down there. Before he can kill her, Reese makes it in time and knocks the Terminator down.

Back off bot!

Back off bot!

Of course he hasn’t actually killed him, as that is extremely hard to do, but he has managed to buy him and Sarah enough time to take off.

As the two are driving off, Kyle tells Sarah about the future. In the year 2015 (NEXT YEAR!!!), Skynet, a computer defense system, will become self aware and begin a nuclear war against the humans. Sarah’s unborn son, John, is the one who will lead the rebellion against the machines and is the only chance for humankind. With the resistance on the verge of victory, Skynet sent a terminator back. A Terminator is a being with a metal endoskeleton covered ¬†by a layer of living tissue, so that he looks more humanlike and harder to determine as cyborg.

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Sarah is so freaked out that she doesn’t know how to make heads or tails of the whole issue. She doesn’t have very much time, as the Terminator has caught up with them and is chasing them down in a truck. Their two cars crash and the police show up.

The Terminator goes off to heal himself, and it is an uber crazy scene!

They take Reese into custody as they think that he purposely killed a man (the Terminator). They interrogate him, but think that he is crazy as they cannot find any proof that the Terminator exists. While Sarah is making a statement, we have one of the best and most quoted scenes of all time. ūüôā

The Terminator: I’ll be back.”‚ÄďThe Terminator (1984)

Terminator

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Sorry about that. I’m back on track now. So While the Terminator marches in and starts killing all sorts of people, Kyle and Sarah escape.

They flee to a cheap motel where Sarah questions Kyle more about why he was picked to go on this dangerous mission as he can never return home. Reese tells her he volunteered. John had a picture of her and Kyle fell in love looking at it and hearing about her. He didn’t care if he couldn’t go back as it was worth it to be with her. Sarah is touched by his words and the two have sex.

Look at that hunky man

Look at that hunky man

The next day Reese takes off to get supplies and leaves Sarah alone in the motel. She calls her mom to let her know she is okay. That would be great…except that her mom is already dead and the woman she is talking to is actually the Terminator mimicking the voice. Than Sarah does the stupidest thing, she gives her “mom” the phone number of the place she is at. Why would you do that when there is a killer on the loose Sarah? Why? You know he already knows who you and is hunting you down.Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

So Kyle comes back and teaches Sarah everything she needs to know about creating her own weapons out of common products. While the two are having this sweet scene, the Terminator has tracked them down. Luckily, the dog belonging to the motel’s owner starts barking, warning Reese.

hear that?

The two get involved in a second car chase in which Kyle throws pipe bombs at the Terminator to try and stop him. Reese is wounded and the momentarily stop the Terminator, burning off all his flesh.

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He chases the two into a nearby factory. This part is pretty cool, as Sarah takes control of the situation, giving us a preview to how BA she will be in the sequel.

Reese attacks the Terminator, but realizes he doesn’t have much time left, as he’s wounded too bad. He stuffs a bomb into the Terminator’s stomach, the explosion killing Reese and severely injuroing the Terminator. It continues to try and take Sarah down, who leads it to a hydraulic press and crushes it. The only thing that survives is an arm.

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Sarah is later taken out of the factory by an ambulance as Kyle’s body is taken away and buried.

Months later a pregnant Sarah is traveling through Mexico and is recording audio tapes for John when he’s older.¬†This is where we are introduced to the amazing Terminator paradox. John is 20 years older than his father. Sarah is like 45 years older than her child’s father. Plus John has to care for Kyle Reese and make sure he survives until he can send him back or else he won’t be born. Crazy! Makes your head spin.

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And if you want the really abbreviated version, go to 30 Second Bunnies

Now even though I absolutely love this movie, I will say that How It Should Have Ended did a pretty good job.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to¬†What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

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For more on The Terminator, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Linda Hamilton, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more cyborgs, go to In Their Proper Place

For more on a resistance group, go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

For more on ’80s films, go to¬†The Anniversary of Its Formation

For more films that spanned sequels, go to Just Follow the Screams

For more on How I Met Your Mother, go to Fashionably Postworthy