Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ahem...Slight Schedule Change to The Historian Readalong...

<Cough>  Well, Week 2 commences, and Tedious & Brief caught Coffee and a Book Chick's error in scheduling...  you may have also caught that the schedule defined in the first post skipped an entire section of the book?  <Cough>  If you didn't catch that, no need to jump back to that post to confirm <cough, cough>

Sorry, everyone! Thank you to Tedious & Brief!! A little adjustment to our schedule will now look like the following:

Sept 27 to Oct 3 -- Chapters 15 to 28
Oct 4 to Oct 10 -- Chapters 29 to 42
Oct 11 to Oct 17 -- Chapters 43 to 55
Oct 18 to Oct 24 -- Chapters 56 to 67
Oct 25 to Oct 31 -- Chapters 68 to Epilogue

See you on Sunday!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Historian Week 1 Questions and Discussion...

How thrilled we are to begin our first fireside chat on The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova!  I do so hope that you've experienced a thoroughly enjoyable week of reading the first 14 chapters of this creepy story...and has anyone been to Romania?

Thoughtful Reminders...
  • You do not have to answer all of the questions!
  • Please add the appropriate question number to your answers in the comments field.  You can also copy and paste the question into the comments field as a reference.
  • If you have read ahead, remember to not include spoilers in your comments.
  • When you add your answers, don't forget to click the check box so that you are notified of others' responses.
  • Feel free to blog about this week, remind your readers that they can join at any time, and grab the button to post to your blog's sidebar!
Week 1 Questions...
  1. The Historian was published in 2005, but the initial note to the reader is dated in 2008. Why do you think the timing was constructed in this manner for the first readers in 2005?
  2. Did you notice that the narrator's name is not identified?  We know the name of everyone else but not her name.  Why is that?
  3. The narrator is obviously much more mature than her sixteen years would normally imply, and especially in comparison to her peers during 1973.  Why do you feel that the author chose such a young age to represent this character who is learning such incredibly unbelievable information?
  4. When it is learned that "Dracula lives among us today," (p. 26), does this truly mean that Dracula is alive amongst us, or merely that folklore and superstition keep his legend and name alive?
  5. Whoever receives the book encounters grave danger.  Are they putting themselves in danger willingly because of their own interest in the research, or does it naturally come about from a true evil that has selected them?
  6. Professor Rossi's friend, Hedges, is attacked and suffers a stroke as a result. As Professor Rossi waits for help, he asks Hedges who attacked him and Hedges's responds with a message that, "he will brook no trespass."  What does that mean?
  7. On p. 88, Paul states that he's not interested in the occult, only that he's interested in finding Rossi. Do you think this is true?
More than enough questions to get our conversation going!  Feel free to also take a look at the below link which provides some wonderful historical background on Wallachia, Vlad Tepes, the Order of the Dragon, among other details...click The Historical Dracula to visit the site.

Historical Note:  The image above represents the Order of the Dragon, in which "drac" in Romanian can either mean a dragon or the devil.  Vlad the Impaler's father was initiated into the Order of the Dragon, which was a secret fraternal order of knights who were committed to uphold Christianity against the Turks.

We look forward to your thoughts on the above questions to get our chat started....

Yours in profoundest grief,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Are You Ready? Week 1 Starts Monday!

Perhaps the air is getting just a little bit cooler where you are.  Leaves might be changing color, and the days are just a tad shorter.  It might be getting a little creepier when you're by yourself.

Tomorrow starts
The Historian Readalong!  Start enjoying Chapters 1 through 14, and get ready to participate in our first fireside chat on Sunday, September 26th.  My recommendations for reading this book are to have either a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate by your side.  Or, maybe with the fall season approaching, a cup of hot apple cider may be more appropriate?  Settle in comfortably in your most relaxing chair, a small throw to cover your legs, and select a time with the least distractions to open up the book and experience the first few chapters.

Wikipedia Picture
What's your knowledge of Vlad Tepes also known as Vlad the Impaler?  Have you read the fantastic story that started our fascination of all things Dracula by reading Bram Stoker's story?  If you haven't, by no means will that hamper your reading of The Historian.

here to visit an interesting link to review the Middle Ages and Vlad Tepes.  It's an overall timeline and biography of Vlad Tepes in his notorious time during the Middle Ages.  He was son to Prince Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Devil), and he is rumored to have murdered over 40,000 people by impaling them.  Gruesome but these were different times...do you think this brutal measure was effective warfare for this time period?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome to The Historian Read Along...

iStockPhoto.com with text editing provided by Digital Graces Photography
It all began on a quiet afternoon.  Coffee and a Book Chick and Tedious & Brief thought of hosting a read along for those readers who have either read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, or have always wanted to read it.  Considering there are so many amazing challenges that are starting now for Halloween, we thought this might be a creepily fantastic addition to whatever you're currently preparing for without feeling like it's too much -- see the schedule down below, about 100 pages each week for six weeks!  We can do that, right?

From the book jacket:

"To you, Perceptive Reader, I bequeath my history..."  Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman, finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters.  The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of -- a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known -- and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out.  It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula.  Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula.  Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself -- to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world.  Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed -- and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends?  The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe...

Doesn't this sound incredible?  Coffee and a Book Chick first read this five years ago, and this is the first read for Tedious & Brief!  Here's an overall schedule and we'd like to start it in two weeks so that we can break the book up into a little over 100 pages each week and to finish by Sunday, October 31st for Halloween.

Sept 20 to Sept 26 -- Chapters 1 through 14
Sept 27 to Oct 3 -- Chapters 27 through 39
Oct 11 to Oct 17 -- Chapters 40 through 48
Oct 18 to Oct 24 -- Chapters 49 through 66
Oct 25 to Oct 31 -- Chapters 67 through Epilogue

We can have a discussion starting on Sunday nights and each section can take us through that week -- thoughts to creep you out, ideas to make you think "what if," and overall a general discussion each Sunday evening as the weather gets colder for some of us, and to think, maybe... just maybe...Dracula might exist?


If you're interested, all you have to do is follow the site, and grab the button on the sidebar to post to your blog!  Please feel free to blog about it to your fantastic followers and let us know!!

Looking forward to Sept 20th to start the read along and the first chit chat by the fireside will be Sunday, Sept. 26th!!


Coffee and a Book Chick
Tedious & Brief

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