An Interview With Sarah

If you’ve been following my blog or popped around just a few times you may have noticed the page Sarah’s Books, but who is Sarah? I don’t mention her much (except for on my about page) because I reserve my posts more for the books rather than my personal life.

So I asked myself, ‘What if someone is curious and wants to know more about this elusive Sarah (just a side note: Sarah is my partner, which probably explains a lot, but I was hoping this would also be a first in a series of guest posts/interview swaps). The solution? An interview with Sarah. I asked her a bunch of questions and this is what she told me.

If someone came to you and asked, “Tell me about yourself” what would you tell them?

I would tell them that I am an English teacher, that I’m open minded, that I like films, books, music, and that I love my job.

If you had the option to sit down to dinner with 3 authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

Jack Kerouac, Chuck Palahniuk  and Sylvia Plath. Jack Kerouac because On the Road is one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read and to get an insight into his thoughts would be incredible. Chuck Palahniuk because I think for him to be able to write a novel like Fight Club he must be an interesting guy. Sylvia Plath because I studied her poetry in high school and it really changed my view on poetry (which I hated originally), I’d really like to see what was going through her mind when she finally succeeded in killing herself.

Same again, but the none bookish – choose any 3 famous or non-famous people that you would like to eat dinner with, dead or alive, and why?

My Poppa, he died when I was 18 months old, I’d really like to know him. My uncle, he passed away 4 years ago and I really wish I’d had a chance to talk to him more before that happened, and my best friend from when I was 16, she committed suicide when we were in high school, I still feel, sometimes, that I could’ve done more, and I’d like to tell her I’m sorry. (Sorry those were so depressing)

What would be the most impacting novel/book or novels for you in all of your reading? And have they helped to change your outlook at all?

I think the most impacting novels have probably been On the Road, The Day After Forever and Someone Else’s Daughter. On the Road really made me realise how much a novel can change the way you approach your life and see the world. Sal and Dean were great characters for me to see change and grow throughout the novel. The ideas behind Kerouac’s “beat” novel are really inline with my feelings towards the “alternative” side of our society.

The Day After Forever is written by Erin Skiffington. Erin was 16 when she wrote this novel and it was my favourite novel all through high school. It changed the way I looked at realism as a genre and really began my love for realistic novels.

Someone Else’s Daughter is the story of the torture and murder of Anita Cobby, a young woman who grew up in Western Sydney. Being from Western Sydney myself, this novel really affects the way I feel about where I grew up. The murderers went to the same high school I went to and lived in the same suburb I lived in, so it was a very hard hitting novel for me. I’m also very interested in the minds of psychopaths.

What Have Been Highlights From The Last Year?

Highlights of 2010 definitely are starting at my new high school and getting to know all the new kids and establishing myself as a teacher there. The other big one was of course meeting my beautiful girlfriend.

What Are You Looking Forward To In The Coming Year?

Traveling, moving out, furthering my teaching career.

Word on the street is you’re going to Europe, what about your trip are you looking forward to the most?

I’m really looking forward to experiencing something new, I need to get out of my comfort zone and I haven’t been overseas in awhile. I’m looking forward to visiting France, which I have a great interest in and have been studying the language. I’m just generally looking forward to seeing new and different things.

What genres do you prefer to read and which ones do you find you actually read the most of?

Realism is my preferred genre but I also read dystopian and true crime. I read realism the most as I find it hard to be involved in stories and characters which I cannot relate to and are not believable to me.

What do you feel you must achieve in life?

I must be a good person. I think the most important thing to me is to be a good, compassionate, open minded, accepting person, if I can achieve that, I think I will be happy.

You can catch Sarah on her blog, I Never Could Get The Hang of Thursdays, and you can follow her on Twitter as well.

If you’d ever like to do an Interview Swap with me sometime let me know (just leave a comment somewhere if you want) and I’ll try my best to schedule time for it.

Sarah’s Picks: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

I’ve had this book on my list to read as one of Sarah’s recommendations so it has been sitting on my shelf for a short while. Then I went to one of my book clubs and it ended up being the book for November! I thought that was prefect and finally got to read it. I really do not know what to make of it.

I’ve read novels that have inspired anger and hate in me because they have frustrated me, I’ve also read novels that inspire fondness and happiness because they strike a positive chord with me, but this doesn’t seem to fall into either one of those.  I really don’t know what to make of it or what to make of the characters. I believe my brain may have been in shock after I read it and during and perhaps sometime after.

When I say I don’t know what to make of it, it’s not because I didn’t get the story line. I understood the plot and grasped what the characters are on about, but the characters are all mad. All mad! So, so mad. To add to their madness, sure Emily Bronte may be well written and Wuthering Heights is to a degree, but the dialogue… The dialogue, especially in the first part, was insufferable. Some of those characters had the longest diatribes which were needless I think and ended up just making me want to fall asleep. Granted I still wanted to fall asleep later in the book, but the second part (it comes in two volumes) was far better. There were still long, drawn out speeches, but not nearly as bad in the first. People should read it for the second part if they can make it that far.

Another thing about the second part is I feel perhaps it may have been better because there was the introduction of another character who was much more likeable compared to the rest of them. That’s another problem I found with this book, none of the characters were likeable. It is possible to relate to them at times, but they aren’t likeable at all. The thing is even if a character is not likeable, as long as they incite some sort of feeling it shouldn’t matter, but they didn’t resonate with me feeling wise so they came across as all being a little flat.

Perhaps it was because of their bouts of madness and their abstract behaviour which made them not very dimensional to me because there was so much of it and they were all over the place. What didn’t help was it seemed to manifest again in the second generation (the first volume is one generation and the second is the following generation). Maybe that’s why my brain is in shock after reading it because there really is just too much madness and too much excessive behaviour born from over emotion.

I’m actually glad I picked it up, persevered with it, and finished it though. Classic literature doesn’t always have to be unpleasant or difficult to read, but this one was which presented a challenge. A challenge that I overcame. Now I just have to try to refrain from interrogating fans of it on why they loved it.

  • Demographic: Adult, and those who love the use of old English.
  • Genre: Classic Romance apparently, but it’s really a hate novel. Oh and Classic English Literature
  • Reminds Me Of: The Castle by Kafka, but only because it was hard to digest. Otherwise when it comes to writing style Jane Austen may be closer.
  • Rating Out of Five: 3 – I can’t figure out what to rate it
  • Challenges: Crossroads Book Club, Sarah’s Books

Lets Ask Sarah

Very soon I plan on posting an interview with Sarah because I have the page Sarah’s Books, but I never really mention her otherwise. I thought to myself that it might be something different to do and maybe people want to know why Sarah has a page all of her own.

Are there any questions you’d like to ask Sarah?

If you have any questions that you’d like me to ask her, and as long as they aren’t too personal, feel free to email me at theladycarmine at gmail dot com with them. If there are enough of them your question will be posted with a link back to you.

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