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OLD TASK HELP THREADS > 20.5 Bigger is Better: Ashley FL's task as suggested by Stesse- Bigger is Better, and Larger than Life

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message 1: by Dlmrose (last edited Dec 04, 2010 05:12AM) (new)

Dlmrose | 18103 comments Mod
20.5 Bigger is Better: Ashley FL's task as suggested by Stesse- Bigger is Better, and Larger than Life
We (Ashley FL and Stesse) had a step-grandmother who was a grande dame in the fullest sense of the term: simultaneously personally unconventional but with exacting standards of etiquette, she both enthralled and terrified her step-grandchildren!

In her honor, and to honor all women who live life on their terms and don't always follow society's dictates, read a fiction or non-fiction book where the main character is an unconventional woman. Since unconventional can be defined in so many ways, there's a wide range to chose from, but try to break away from YOUR conventions!

Some examples include Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series (with its scary but fabulous Lady Danbury), any biography of Amelia Earheart, and Lysistrata

Optional: Tell us about an unconventional woman in your life
Required: IF the unconventional woman is not apparent in the book's title or Goodreads description, include the connection when you post.


message 2: by Ashley FL (last edited Jan 15, 2011 11:42AM) (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments WOMEN (real and fictional) APPROVED:

Princess Diana
Stephanie Plum
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Dian Fossey
Mikayla Lane (Karen Marie Moning "Fever" series)
Anne of Cleaves
Amelia Peabody (series by Elizabeth Peters)
Gretchen Lowell (series by Chelsea Cain)

BOOKS APPROVED:

Robin Hood's Revenge
Heroine of the Desert
Reunited in the DesertThe Diana Chronicles
Eat, Pray, Love
Gorillas in the Mist
The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
Crestmont
The Widow's War
Practical Magic
The Drowning City
The Help
Out of Body
The Heretic Queen
Flygirl
Loving and Leaving the Good Life
Just Kids


message 3: by Ashley FL (last edited Jan 15, 2011 06:28AM) (new)


message 4: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Stesse and I will both be approving/ disapproving, and then I'll fill the books in above for both of us.

Enjoy -- we can't wait to see your amazing women! (and feel free to tell us fun stories about them -- goodness knows we have plenty for Marion!)


message 5: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 18103 comments Mod
This thread is open!


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason | 61 comments I was thinking about Red Hood's Revenge. This has been on my TBR list for a while and this gives me an excuse to move it to the top of the list. Does Red Riding Hood as an assassin count as unconventional?


chucklesthescot I was thinking of using one of these books if they are approved:

Heroine of the Desert
Reunited in the Desert: How I Risked Everything to See My Children Again


message 8: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) What about this new Emily Dickinson bio: Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds?


message 9: by Sheila (last edited Dec 04, 2010 07:59AM) (new)

Sheila (sheilaj) | 2253 comments can books with women in unconventional jobs work for this task? Off hand I was thinking Stephanie Plum/Bounty Hunter or Joanna Brady/Sheriff or Maisie Dobbs/Private Eye?


message 10: by Meagan (last edited Dec 04, 2010 07:55AM) (new)

Meagan (meaganmarble) | 316 comments What about a book about Princess Diana? I feel like she was an unconventional woman, I was thinking maybe The Diana Chronicles.


message 11: by Cindy AL (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments I was considereing a book about Eleanor of aquitaine - one of the original unconventional woman (except maybe for Eve).


message 12: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7850 comments I was thinking about Mikayala Lane in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series - she is one of the few of her kind left who can sense the Fae and a null which means she has the ability to immobilze and kill them, which others don't...thoughts?


message 13: by ★Meghan★ (new)

★Meghan★ (starinheaven) | 832 comments Mmmm...Maybe City of Glass since Clary has the ability to create runes that is no one has seen before...would that work?


message 14: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Cindy AL wrote: "I was considereing a book about Eleanor of aquitaine - one of the original unconventional woman (except maybe for Eve)."

Yes, a woman who took part in the Crusades definitely would work!

Sheila wrote: "can books with women in unconventional jobs work for this task? Off hand I was thinking Stephanie Plum/Bounty Hunter or Joanna Brady/Sheriff or Maisie Dobbs/Private Eye?"

Stephanie Plum would work, because her family and social group clearly expect her to just marry Morelli and produce babies! (If she had grown up in a family of all bounty hunters who expected her to be a bounty hunter, then it wouldn't have worked -- does that make sense?). I don't know the other series, but hopefully the explanation of Stephanie Plum provides clarity.

chucklesthescot wrote: "I was thinking of using one of these books if they are approved:

Heroine of the Desert
Reunited in the Desert: How I Risked Everything to See My Children Again"


Yes, either of these would work: women going against what is expected of women of their time/class/etc.

Jason wrote: "I was thinking about Red Hood's Revenge. This has been on my TBR list for a while and this gives me an excuse to move it to the top of the list. Does Red Riding Hood as an assassin c..."

Off-hand, an assassin would go against societal norms, so it seems like it should work. I couldn't tell from the write-up if she's doing that (or if in her "world", it is expected), but if it's not expected, it is fine.


message 15: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments ★Meghan★ wrote: "Mmmm...Maybe City of Glass since Clary has the ability to create runes that is no one has seen before...would that work?"

Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "I was thinking about Mikayala Lane in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series - she is one of the few of her kind left who can sense the Fae and a null which means she has the ability to immobilze and ki..."

For both of these: merely having a different power or ability wouldn't be enough: Did the heroine DO something that was unconventional? For example, did Mikayala Lane take on the fight as her own? I've even read the "City of" books and am embarrassed to say that I can't remember enough to know what Clary does with her powers.

If it helps, Bella Swan would NEVER qualify in "Twilight" but would qualify in the last book: passively letting exciting things happen around you isn't enough. You need to take charge of your destiny (as happens with the who Reneesme plot-line).

Gayla wrote: "What about this new Emily Dickinson bio: Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds?"

I'm afraid I don't see anything that she did that was unconventional? There was certainly family scandal, but not hers. Perhaps I'm missing something, but based on what I've read, Emily Dickinson wouldn't work.


message 16: by kiki (new)

kiki (keekers) | 821 comments would you accept Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa. dian fossey is my hero, and she certainly strikes me as unconventional! thanks for your help! :)


message 17: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (lindseypinzy) how about any book by chelsea handler?
or eat, pray, love?


message 18: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments LindseyPinzy wrote: "how about any book by chelsea handler?
or eat, pray, love?"


I haven't personally read any Chelsea Handler and from the write-ups it is hard to tell if she is just obnoxious or actually unconventional. I did see a reference implying that she does a lot of work on behalf of gay rights, and if that's true, books about that work. I tend to think she works, but perhaps someone who has read some of her stuff would chime in??

Eat, Pray, Love works. I haven't read the second book she's written (about marriage), but if it chronicles her life/ marriage and isn't just an academic investigation into marriage, it works as well.

kiki wrote: "would you accept Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa. dian fossey is my hero, and she certainly strikes me as unconventional! thanks for..."

Absolutely!


message 19: by kiki (new)

kiki (keekers) | 821 comments yeay, thanks! :)


message 20: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7850 comments i've only read/listen to the first one, but from what I can tell, she (along with her helper barrons) is the only one who has the ability/ desire to fight back against the fae - the other people with the ability to see the fae to ignore them and move on...does that work?

Ashley FL wrote: "★Meghan★ wrote: "Mmmm...Maybe City of Glass since Clary has the ability to create runes that is no one has seen before...would that work?"

Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "I w..."



message 21: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "i've only read/listen to the first one, but from what I can tell, she (along with her helper barrons) is the only one who has the ability/ desire to fight back against the fae - the other people wi..."

Sounds like it works!


message 22: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7850 comments yay thanks!! I can always change it after I listen to it, if it doesn't fit the requirements...its one of the next ones on my pile...


message 23: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) I'm afraid I don't see anything that she did that was unconventional? There was certainly family scandal, but not hers. Perhaps I'm missing something, but based on what I've read, Emily Dickinson wouldn't work.

I'm going to make a little bit of an argument for Emily Dickinson. :-) She was considered very unconventional during her lifetime, because of her reclusive lifestyle, her lack of interest in marriage, and her utter commitment to her work (despite the fact that she only occasionally consented to publish it). Her poetry was considered to be eccentric in both sensibility and format; even her punctuation was extremely unusual. To quote an early reviewer, Thomas Bailey Aldrich: "It is plain that Miss Dickinson possessed an extremely unconventional and grotesque fancy...[A]n eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out-of-the-way New England village (or anywhere else) cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar."


message 24: by Christine US (new)

Christine US (christineus) | 572 comments Elizabeth I? Either in non-fiction or fiction, she's an extremely unconventional woman for the time.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm a bit confused about this task, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "unconventional".

Could I use one of the Anita Blake books for this? She raises zombies, hunts vampires and helps solve murders... She seems pretty unconventional to me, but I don't know if it works here.


message 26: by Sue (new)

Sue (suetinge) | 1524 comments How about Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade? Based on the movie, she seemed very unconventional for her time/social class.


message 27: by Sandie (new)

Sandie (chocdrop) | 214 comments Just wanted to check that this works - The Final Confession of Mabel Stark.

Going from being a nurse to becoming a tiger trainer in the circus seems unconventional to me!


message 28: by chucklesthescot (new)

chucklesthescot Thanks for approving my books!


message 29: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) How about Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire? The author is a sex worker, by choice.


message 30: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Kimifly wrote: "I'm a bit confused about this task, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "unconventional".

Could I use one of the Anita Blake books for this? She raises zombies, hunts vampires and helps sol..."


We take it to mean: pushing the boundaries of what is expected of you and living your life as you wish, not as dictated to you. The grey area, of course, is when you are perfectly happy living as expected of you. While admirable, that's not really unconventional.

So for fiction, I am looking at the universe created by the author and then asking if the character is pushing the boundaries of *that* world (not ours). Does that make sense?

I haven't read Anita Blake and the descriptions aren't all that helpful. It does seem that her jobs are accepted in her world, but if anyone has read them and that's not the truth, I am happy to reconsider my ruling.

Riona wrote: "How about Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire? The author is a sex worker, by choice."

Yup.

Sandie wrote: "Just wanted to check that this works - The Final Confession of Mabel Stark.

Going from being a nurse to becoming a tiger trainer in the circus seems unconventional to me!"


Yes.

Sue T wrote: "How about Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade? Based on the movie, she seemed very unconventional for her time/social class."

Yes.

Christine US wrote: "Elizabeth I? Either in non-fiction or fiction, she's an extremely unconventional woman for the time." Yes to the Virgin Queen.


message 31: by travelgirlut (new)

travelgirlut | 61 comments What about Lightborn? The main character has magical abilities in a society that has rejected magic and she uses her abilities in spite of the societal norms. Thanks!


message 32: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments travelgirlut wrote: "What about Lightborn? The main character has magical abilities in a society that has rejected magic and she uses her abilities in spite of the societal norms. Thanks!"

Looks good!


message 33: by Nicki (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments I'm hoping the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters will work? Amelia certainly pushes the boundaries for her time!


message 34: by Stesse (new)

Stesse | 271 comments Nicki (UK) wrote: "I'm hoping the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters will work? Amelia certainly pushes the boundaries for her time!"

Stesse finally chimes in... Nicki - yes, Amelia Peabody definitely pushes the boundaries. And Nefret pushes them even further!


message 35: by Liz (new)

Liz Would either Crestmont or Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China work for this task?


message 36: by Nicki (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments Stesse wrote: "Nicki (UK) wrote: "I'm hoping the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters will work? Amelia certainly pushes the boundaries for her time!"

Stesse finally chimes in... Nicki - yes, ..."


Thanks! :)


message 37: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 434 comments How about Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII? Their marriage was annulled almost immediately and she lived as a single woman in England, very rare for her time. She was also one of his only wives to escape with her life. http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monar...


message 40: by Stesse (new)

Stesse | 271 comments We (and I'm speaking for Ash as well, I hope!) say yes to:
Crestmont
The Last Empress
In My Hands (although the fact that the description spells "steals" wrong offends me, but I'm a word-nerd...)
and definitely Anne of Cleves.

Liz, I'm trying to figure out from the description which of the three women the Wild Swans book focuses on - who is unconventional? Can you make a case for it - that might help me.


message 41: by Stesse (new)

Stesse | 271 comments Gayla wrote: "I'm afraid I don't see anything that she did that was unconventional? There was certainly family scandal, but not hers. Perhaps I'm missing something, but based on what I've read, Emily Dickinson w..."

Hi Gayla - Ash and I discussed this and we can see your point, however it wasn't exactly what we were thinking of. But it is true, unconventional depends on what convention is, and which viewpoint it comes from. So while it isn't our first choice, we will approve Emily Dickinson as unconventional. The question then arises, does this book focus on her as an unconventional person, or does it focus more on her family? If the former, then yes, book approved. If the latter, then we'd have to say no. Hope this helps. -Tesse


message 42: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 314 comments thanks! Too funny about "steals". I hadn't even noticed.


message 43: by Gayla (new)

Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) The question then arises, does this book focus on her as an unconventional person, or does it focus more on her family? If the former, then yes, book approved. If the latter, then we'd have to say no.

The book is described as a biography, and most of the reviews of it that I read focused on the author's hypothesis that Dickinson suffered from epilepsy. So I think it's really about her, and the whole "family feud" angle was added to the subtitle to make the book sound more exciting. However, I think I will just use it for a different task and use a biography of Madam Chiang Kai-Shek for this one, as I think she is more the kind of person you had in mind.


message 44: by Foxy Grandma (new)

Foxy Grandma (foxygrandma) | 1016 comments Would The Widow's War work? The main character fights against the community's ideas of a woman's rights.


message 45: by Elizabeth (NC) (new)

Elizabeth (NC) | 185 comments What about Heartsick? One of the main characters is a female serial killer. Not very positive, but I think unconventional.
Thanks.


message 46: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments I was thinking of Searching for Dragons. It's a fairy tale about a princess who is not like any of the other princesses. She ran away from home because she wanted an adventure, and now she voluntarily cooks for (and is friends with) a dragon and has no desire whatsoever to be rescued by a prince or knight and get married. It's a cute book...


message 47: by RedSycamore (new)

RedSycamore | 111 comments What about Anna Karenina?

I haven't read it before, so if someone in the thread has, I definitely defer to them for an informed opinion, but this is from the goodreads summary:

"Anna pays not so much because she transgresses the moral code but because she refuses to observe the proprieties customarily exacted in such liaisons by the hypocritical high society to which she belongs."


message 48: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Rachel Renee wrote: "What about Anna Karenina?

I haven't read it before, so if someone in the thread has, I definitely defer to them for an informed opinion, but this is from the goodreads summary:

"Anna p..."
I'm willing to entertain arguments on behalf of this one, as I read it ages ago, but I don't remember her being a particularly strong character. She does have an affair, but she does it in this incredibly weak way, IIRC.

Beth NC wrote: "Would The Widow's War work? The main character fights against the community's ideas of a woman's rights." It's not exactly what we're looking for, but close enough.

Elizabeth (NC) wrote: "What about Heartsick? One of the main characters is a female serial killer. Not very positive, but I think unconventional.
Thanks."
Yes, it works. We (Stesse and I) didn't really discuss how to handle serial killers, but the main character is certainly living life on her own terms!

Sara ♥ wrote: "I was thinking of Searching for Dragons. It's a fairy tale about a princess who is not like any of the other princesses. She ran away from home because she wanted an adventure, and ..." From the description, the princess appears to be a child, or at least a young teen. We are really looking for a full-fledged, larger than life, WOMAN. Sorry :( (but the book looks really cute!)


message 49: by Kristina Simon (new)

Kristina Simon (kristinasimon) | 10992 comments Would Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman work? The aunts are certainly unconventional.


message 50: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 732 comments Kristi (Passion for the Page) wrote: "Would Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman work? The aunts are certainly unconventional." Yes, definitely. Talk about larger than life!!


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