Welcome to the Tea Party: My Fantasy Guest List

A while back, michellecole at the Tipsy Geekette wrote about her ultimate tea party invite list; that is, if she could invite any person to a tea party, who would it be?

It got me thinking about who I would invite to such a party. My list is a bit more modest than hers—I make no claims to “the most amazing tea party in the history of tea parties”—but I think that it could at least be a good time for all involved. So here is who I would invite to a time-travelling tea party that includes folks from the last 200 years:

The first person to pop into my head was the lovely and talented Audrey Hepburn.

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A dancer during World War II, she smuggled intelligence across Nazi lines for the French Resistance, and then went on to have an impressive career in film. She could sing, dance, and act, and she was an amazing humanitarian; I’m pretty sure she could keep the conversation going.

 

Then I thought I’d love to sit down to tea with Jane Austen.

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She was the author of some of my favourite books (I adore Persuasion), and her wit and cutting remarks would surely liven things up!

 

Next on my list is James Baldwin.
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I recently finished reading Go Tell It on the Mountain, and loved it!

 

I would absolutely love the chance to spend some time with Janelle Monae; her music inspires me. And have you seen the music video for Electric Lady? I couldn’t stop watching it when it dropped! ♥

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With a loving heart and quirky sense of humour, she would get along with the other attendees and bring her own special spin to things.

 

One of my favourite authors growing up was Tamora Pierce. I loved her complex female heroes, her casual inclusion of LGBTQ characters, and the rich, varied fantasy settings.

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 I’m sure she would bring compelling conversation and a welcoming, supportive air to the party.

 

My other favourite childhood author was Sir Terry Pratchett. Upon graduating to the grown-up books, I picked out his The Light Fantastic based on cover art alone, and I’ve never regretted it.

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With his quirky, fun sense of humour, Sir Terry would surely keep us all laughing, and his casual badassery would be a great conversation starter. (How many other authors—or knights, for that matter—have crafted themselves a sword out of a meteorite?)

 

And, last but certainly not least, I would love to invite President Barack Obama.

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I feel like he would be a great, down-to-earth addition, who could talk politics and also kick back and discuss literature and family.

 

Bonus: here‘s the video for Electric Lady; watch it. Seriously, do it.

If you could invite anyone to a tea party, who would it be?

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Under-Appreciated Classics

Last Tuesday, I participated in the Top Ten Tuesday post that the Broke and the Bookish puts on. The theme was classics, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what classics I wanted to include. I ended up consulting several lists around the internet of classics and picking the ones I’d read more than once and really enjoyed.

As I was going through the lists, I kept coming across titles I had read and enjoyed that seem a bit more obscure. These are titles that I don’t think get talked about as much—on top 100 lists, or even top 250, they rarely make the cut—and I wanted to highlight a few:

  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I can’t quite describe why this one has stuck with me, but I read it years back for a course. It took a bit to get into, and there’s some controversial parts that Hardy wrote deliberately ambiguous, but once I was in it, I was hooked. I powered through this one (got ahead of the class and had to double back) and ended up really loving it.
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I’m a bit sad I hadn’t got to read this one before now—it’s so good, I feel like I’ve been missing out. It’s got great touches of humour, the characterisation is interesting and well thought out, and it’s an early entry in the detective lit genre that is not always mentioned as being the forerunner it was.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen. Yes, this was on my Top Ten list, but I think it bears mentioning again. This really is my favourite Austen book, and I think it mostly only gets read by Austen enthusiasts, folks who read Austen’s more obscure work. Everyone knows Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, and many know Emma—if only because of the Gwyneth Paltrow film—but Persuasion is definitely less widely known or considered. Yet, it’s my favourite.
  • The Great Divorce by CS Lewis. This is an apologetic, and is thus not for everyone. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I feel that it asks some very interesting questions about humans and humanity.

If you’re looking for a readable, enjoyable classic, I highly recommend one of these. Give them a try; I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics to Come Back to

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My favourite edition of The Hobbit

 

This week, I’m joining in on the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday, a chance for people who like books and lists to share on a theme.

This week’s theme is classics—10 classics you love, or 10 you’ve meant to read, or whatever—and I’m sharing classics I’ve read more than once because they’re so good. Without further ado…

  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I admit that this choice is at least partly due to loving the Muppet film adaptation so much, but the book is short, fun, funny, and heart-warming, and it’s a great one to come back to when I want to feel good about the world.
  2. Persuasion by Jane Austen  – I really think this is a terribly under-appreciated book. Ask the average non-Austenite to name 1 or 2 of her books, and you will invariably get back the ones that have made been made into successful adaptations: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility—which are both lovely, but I think that Persuasion outshines them for sheer enjoyability. It’s a bit more staid than many modern books, but I really think it’s the best of Austen’s works.
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This one is a bit slow at the start, but it’s another book that I think really shines. Like Persuasion it’s a novel of its time, but it also tells a story that I think modern audiences can continue to appreciate today.
  4. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Most people consider the Lord of the Rings a classic—probably because it’s so darn hard to read—and discount The Hobbit, which is silly of them. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but it’s a classic nonetheless.
  5. Emma by Jane Austen. The most well known and widely read of Austen’s books are my least favourite (it’s terribly hipster of me, and I’m not even sorry). Emma Woodhouse is often considered, upon a first reading, to be an unpleasant sort, selfish and meddling and silly. But those are the reasons I like her. She’s more real to me for being just a bit unpleasant. Austen said in a letter “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, but it is, of course, not at all true.
  6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  There’s nothing that quite compares to reading the book. There are several very faithful adaptations, and some…less faithful ones (and then the Disney one, which…yeah). I prefer the book over them all. If you enjoy the adaptations, give it a read.
  7. Macbeth by William Shakespeare. The Scottish Play! This one is twisted and odd, and has some very under-appreciated side characters. It’s associated with a ton of tropes and inside theatre jokes., and it’s just really good.
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I dithered over whether this book or A Little Princess out to take this spot, but I ended up going with The Secret Garden because I’ve read it more often, the film adaptation was really good, and I just enjoy this one a fraction more. Not very scientific, but there you have it.
  9. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. This is a play, but it’s still a great read. It’s a bit like Romeo and Juliet, but better, less silly, and considerably more funny.
  10. Dracula by Bram Stoker. I have an illustrated edition that’s rather lovely. This one drags at some parts, and it’s a very odd book, but I very much enjoyed it, and it’s very much worth reading as one of the foundations of modern vampire myths.

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This is the edition of Dracula I’ve got

Honourable Mentions:

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
  • Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre