John Updike dies at 76

It has just been announced that John Updike has passed away at the age of 76 from lung cancer.
Story at NYTimes

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Break From Wedding Planning

Being a fond lover of the Anne of Green Gables stories, I started reading L.M. Montgomery’s other most famous classic series, Emily of the New Moon, Emily Climbs, and Emily’s Quest. In all, both stories are very similar in that both heroines have an extensive imagination and deep fondness for beauty. However, there are differences between the two. Anne does become a writer too, but only as a side career mostly (at least from my memory of the novels). She makes most of her money teaching. Emily does only make her money from her poems, short stories, and novel by the end of the series. Emily’s one and only goal is become a writer; ‘to climb the alpine path’. A poem that also lends itself as the title to L.M. Montgomery’s own autobiography.

Of the two series, I do believe I like the Emily series quite a bit. One perk is that this series is shorter and thus easier to re-read in the future. But I did miss the vivid imagination of Anne. Often Emily will dream outdoors, but she doesn’t have half as many names or stories about the different things around her. And maybe its because I originally read the Anne series when I was barely thirteen, but I like the hero, Gilbert much better. Who can forget Anne breaking that slate over his head? Both heroines are very ambitious, in a modest way, seeking their own fortunes yet longing for a companion to join them on their path. So thinking it over, I guess I like the Anne series more. I don’t think I’ll ever re-read¬† Rainbow Valley or the other ones between Anne’s House of Dreams and Rilla of the Ingleside. No matter how much I may like the Anne series.

Nevermore…Poe's 200th

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…”


Besides it being Martin Luther King day and the day before Obama takes office, it is the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe.¬† Besides his famous poem “The Raven” (which I felt the opening lines to be appropriate for today as many do not read the dusty volumes of Poe on their own), his short stories as most know are incredible and my favorite.

Below is a link to the New York Times slideshow of images of both Poe and his writings.

Edgar Allan Poe at 200