Emma Watson’s Book Club – Robert Frost

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This is one of those school assignments that stay with you for life. You’re trudging along through the poetry unit of middle/high school English class, and something just grabs you and clings to you as much as you cling to it.

How many of us have had a choice put before us that we’re stuck thinking about for much longer than any other choice? I write constantly about roads and paths and journeys, and this is one bit of writing that I always seem to go to in my mind.

The same could be said about Emma Watson’s characters, Hermione Granger and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. In both instances, she can easily just give in and be who others want her to be, but instead she takes a chance and makes a choice to be herself, and let the chips fall where they may.

In the Harry Potter series, she has her two best friends (Harry and Ron), and they tease her, but they love her and wouldn’t change her for one minute. She’s able to grow and find herself and her priorities and stick them out.

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is a little more self-aware. Gaston professes his love for her, but she must change in order to be truly accepted by him. She’s having none of that. She loves her books, her education, her imagination, and no one should take that away from her. Let her be her or what’s the point? The Beast doesn’t try to change her, but in truly knowing her, he is changed.

Emma, in the Entertainment Weekly article recommending books, suggests Robert Frost‘s poems. This is one of my two personal favorites; the other being Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Share your favorites and enjoy.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Emma’s Book Club

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Continuing the Monday book recommendations that I began a few weeks ago with President Obama, I’ve chosen Emma Watson’s book list for this next grouping of weeks. 

Most people probably know Emma from her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of movies. She can currently be found on big screens as Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

She speaks out forcefully on feminism and equality, and whatever other issue comes to mind. She doesn’t hold back. She is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women as part of HeforShe which advocates for gender equality.

She seems to be a voracious reader, very  much like Hermione, and she shares that with the world through her social media accounts and public activities.

Not only did she have her own book club on Goodreads, she also hid books on the London Underground to encourage reading through an organization called Books on the Underground.

The first of the books on her recommended list is one that I just finished recently and one that fits into the crazy narrative that’s gripped US politics. Paranoia, wiretapping, fake news, and phony polls. When Mr.Trump became President Trump, people said we should re-read 1984. I graduated high school in 1984, and I know I read the book, but I couldn’t really remember it, so I re-read it, finishing it just last week.

The similarities are mind-boggling and frightening. One of the things that I am reminded of in both re-reading this book and watching current events play out is that history must be studied and learned and remembered or it is destined to repeat itself. In too many cases, we can’t let that happen. We must stand up for what we believe and what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears, respectively. I won’t get into specific politics other than to say it’s important to know what’s going on in the world and pay attention to it; to grasp facts and differentiate them from opinions and hyperbole. We still have time.

But first, read 1984 by George Orwell.

Movie Wednesday – Noah

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I was finally able to watch Noah on Netflix. About halfway through the movie, a thunderstorm and tornado warning hit my area so there was that sense-around experience. I paused the movie and hesitated briefly to look out the window at the dark sky, hoping my car windows were up, but I still pushed on through to the end of the movie.
It was still a little frightening despite knowing the end of the story, and the lasting covenant that floods would never cover the entire earth again, but in the moment it can be very anxiety inducing.

When the movie ended, so did the storm.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I initially hadn’t seen this movie version because I’ve avoided Biblical reinterpretations, especially of a story so well known throughout my life. I also have a terrible fear of water (among other things depicted here) and this story hits all those buttons.

I also have a dual mindset where I do believe the Biblical stories in a literal way, but I also have a scientific mind. I’m not sure that it’s possible to believe in both (I thought there was a word for that, but both my husband and I couldn’t think of what it could be) but for myself I hold those two both up as separate entities, each one held in each hand so to speak. Maybe one day I’ll figure it all out, but I imagine that’s a long time away.

MOVIE SPOILERS FOLLOW

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Collecting

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I have collections of quirky things from places I’ve been to, like a set of Russian dolls.

Emma Watson

To create is to relate. We trust in the artist in everybody to make his own connections, his own juxtapositions.

Sister Corita

Collectors are happy people.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The art one chooses to collect becomes a self-portrait.

Dennis Heckler

What is a collector? It’s an innate trait. We start as children collecting leaves, or stamps or stones and, as we get older, teens collect friends, CDs and, as an adult, it can be anything.

-Edgar Paulik