Category Archives: Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels of All Time

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

-Tummy aches and headaches. Is second trimester the time of aches?
-The cats have been fighting amongst themselves a lot lately. Not a huge deal, except they choose to do so IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Pregnant mama is not amused.

-I’ve read 45 of the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels of All Time!
-Lin Manuel-Miranda getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! He’s a genius… so deserves the recognition!
-Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary this week!! These novels have really been a life-saver for me and many others. I am so grateful to J.K. Rowling for sharing her dreams with us all. Congratulations on 20 years of excellent novels/films/characters!

35 Before 35

Having a 30 before 30 list was really inspiring and helped me to stay focused with my life goals. I didn’t accomplish all 30 of my goals, but I did a lot to better myself. That’s the true focus of my goal lists; goals that will help me become the best version of myself!


Without further ado, my 35 before 35 list (in no particular order):

  1. Finish Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels of All Time. Currently on book 37/100.
  2. Ride in a hot air balloon.
  3. Complete a short story or poem.
  4. Participate in a Color Run.
  5. Make an apron.
  6. Read the entire Holy Bible.
  7. Go kayaking.
  8. Learn to quilt a blanket.
  9. Travel to a foreign country.
  10. Skip-it 100 consecutive times.
  11. Finish my Rainbow Granny Stripe Crochet blanket.
  12. Have my 1st Child.
  13. Make a book purse.
  14. Go on my first cruise.
  15. Learn to cross stitch.
  16. Buy my own house.
  17. Get another tattoo (or two or three!).
  18. Go to another Broadway show.
  19. Dye my hair a cool color!
  20. Get a professional photoshoot.
  21. Visit all 50 states. Have been to 21/50.
  22. Send a message in a bottle.
  23. Go on a spontaneous adventure.
  24. Plant a garden.
  25. Learn to play an acoustic guitar.
  26. Go to a live concert!
  27. Take a trip with my mom.
  28. Learn how to ride a motorcycle.
  29. Go back to school for my Master’s degree.
  30. Pay off my credit cards.
  31. Make my own bath bomb.
  32. Have a star named after me.
  33. Go on a train ride.
  34. Learn how to change the oil in my car.
  35. Volunteer for something I believe in!


Clea: A Review

cleaClea is the FINAL chapter in Lawrence Durrell‘s Alexandria Quartet [my reviews for Justine, Balthazar, and Mountolive have already been posted]. As previously stated, this quartet just gets better and more & more interconnected the further into the series you read! Clea was my ABSOLUTE favorite of the Alexandria Quartet novels!

In the ruse of returning Nessim’s illegitimate daughter to him, Darley finds himself running into his comrades in Alexandria, of whom he has been formulating a novel. Darley is welcomed with open arms and becomes enamored with his friend Clea almost instantly. They have an intensely co-dependent relationship, despite their appearances of receiving as much time along as necessary. Their summer affair comes to a tragic end with the loss of friends and the loss of innocence in Alexandria. The city becomes completely disenchanting for Darley and he finds himself growing away from his previous comforts.

A great conclusion to the quartet. Definitely not as romantic as Justine was, Clea is a much more realistic romance and novel with it’s many speculations on love and art. I can see why the series is one of the Modern Library’s Top 100 novels!

Mountolive: A Review


Mountolive is book 3 in Lawrence Durrell‘s Alexandria Quartet and it took on quite a different perspective from Justine (my review here) and Balthazar (my review here). This novel is from the viewpoint of Mountolive, a young English politician sent to a post in Alexandria.

I found Mountolive’s story to be the most interesting and certainly the most political. It puts the true actions and happenings of the first two novels of the Alexandrian Quartet into sharp view. The reader finally begins to piece together everyone’s stories and what is happening among the people of Alexandria. Here we find that Nessim was not truly angry with Darley (the narrator in Justine), but trying to further his political place in society through exploiting Darley’s love for Justine (Nessim’s wife) in order to gain information through Darley’s other romantic ventures.

Everything seems to be pulling into place in this novel and I am thrilled to see what else is explained in further detail in Clea, the final novel in the Alexandrian Quartet.

Balthazar: A Review

balthazarThe second novel of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, Balthazar delves into the semi-truths of the first novel Justine from another point of view.

Balthazar pulls apart some of the happenings our narrator put forth in his own book regarding the happenings of his own version of Alexandria. It’s a retelling, with new stories and untold details! This novel focuses on expanding upon the narrator’s stories and really evolves the narration to include things that the narrator was unaware of during his time in Alexandria.

Balthazar focuses on the selfishness of the first book and draws out why Justine, Nessim, and our narrator acted in the ways they did, which we find were outside the realm of control of our original narrator.

If possible, this novel made Justine [the first one] even better.

Justine: A Review


Justine is book one in the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell is a novel written in brief thoughts and moments of life in Alexandria, Egypt.

I am guilty of assuming that this novel was nothing more than mindless fodder… Back and forth regarding the ideals of love from an overly sarcastic point of view.

Once I really got into the novel I found myself listening so intently to the narrator’s version of events, that I would often read ten pages without a moment’s hesitation or notice. And I mean that solely in the positive, lovely way that a novel can take you entirely out of your own world & plop you into the character’s very own mind, let alone their world.

I find myself continuing to be enthralled with the writing techniques utilized by Lawrence Durrell in the first installment of The Alexandrian Quartet. I can’t wait to read on in the series. Balthazar, here I come!

Finnegans Wake: A Review

finnegans wakeTo say that I disliked Finnegans Wake by James Joyce would be an understatement.

I know why it is labeled as a ‘classic’ and why it was so revolutionary: there is no plot. To write in stream of consciousness was new and daring for novels in that day & age.

However, the truth of the matter is that there is no way to fully follow this sing-songy death march of Joyce’s. There are no main characters and it comes off as if it is being spoken by men in a bar… there is no sort of sentence structure and nothing to hold together the novel.

I could not quote ONE thing from this novel. That’s how immemorable it was for me.