Monday, March 20, 2017

Results and The Barfing on His Brogues Bracket (Round 2)

The Imperiled Poppets Bracket results are in! As ever, I have already formatted the new bracket going forward but these are all the winners from the last round of voting. Stand-outs include Cassandra By Chance, Tabitha in Moonlight, Uncertain Summer and (one of my favorites) The Promise of Happiness.

Also known as
 "Becky and the Baron, the Hot, Hot Baron"

Always and Forever vs.
The Secret Pool
The Little Dragon vs.
The End of the Rainbow
The Hasty Marriage vs.
Stars Through the Mist
Discovering Daisy vs.
The Convenient Wife
Tabitha in Moonlight vs.
Uncertain Summer
Polly vs.
Cassandra By Chance
The Promise of Happiness vs.
Once For All Time
An Ideal Wife vs.
Damsel in Green
Roses Have Thorns vs.
bye--no match this week

There was one very painful tie I had to break and for this I consulted with my fellow Founding Betty, Betty Debbie. We chose The Secret Pool over Waiting for Deborah even though there is so much to love about the latter (the way the carpets change in the part of the house the old lady is kept, the old man who keeps caramels in his pockets and calls the heroine as wholesome as a loaf of bread...). The Secret Pool is quite focused and has an emotional heft that is hard to forget.

Now on to Round Two of The Barfing on His Brogues Bracket! Fewer books to weigh against each other but there is hardly any refuge from heartbreak going forward. I am trying to change out the books that get a bye each round, fyi. So one that got a pass last time I tried to cycle into another match-up even if the numbers were odd.

Here is our Book Reviews Archive for any plot refreshers. Again, I am loving you all for keeping your votes so easy to read.
Love and lardy cakes,
Betty Keira

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Results and The Imperiled Poppets Bracket

First the results from The Hocked Locket Bracket. I formatted it for the next contest (which may make some of you start pulling your hair and weeping) but these are all the winners (for the moment):

Darling, I know. It's like they'd never even seen the original cover of Ring in a Teacup.

A Christmas Wish vs.
A Christmas Romance
Henrietta's Own Castle vs.
Dearest Mary Jane
A Kiss for Julie vs.
A Match for Sister Maggy
Not Once But Twice vs.
A Dream Came True
Winter Wedding vs.
Romantic Encounter
Mathilda's Wedding vs.
Never Say Goodbye
Philomena's Miracle vs.
Only By Chance
Midnight Sun's Magic vs.
Fate is Remarkable
Tempestuous April vs.
bye--no contest this week

The only blow-out was Only By Chance crushing Last April Fair and, happily for my constitution, there were no ties to break.

Now onto the final bracket for this round, The Imperiled Poppets Bracket!

In some ways these first round ones are easy brackets because there are a lot more novels that are Fine and Middling to brush aside. But, there is no getting around the fact that there are a TON of books to consider thoughtfully. After this round, the numbers drop but the heartbreak only burns the more.

As ever, if you need a memory-jog, here's our Book Review Archive.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Results and The Hocked Locket Bracket

First things first. I tabulated the results of the first elimination round for A Handful of A Levels Bracket and, given the late Oscar unpleasantness, I can guarantee the results at least as well as Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The winners from the the A Levels Bracket are as follows:

A Christmas Proposal
Wish With the Candles
Chain of Destiny
Three for a Wedding
A Suitable Match
Tulips for Augusta
Mistletow Kiss
Roses for Christmas
Fifth Day of Christmas
A Moon for Lavinia
A Girl Named Rose
Saturday's Child
The Most Marvelous Summer
A Gentle Awakening
When Two Paths Meet
The Magic of Living
Stormy Springtime (had no competition this week)

I had to break three ties.

  • Chain of Destiny over Tangled Autumn mostly because I like the beginning so well. A houseguide named Susannah Lightfoot is a lovely thought.

  • Roses for Christmas over A Matter of Chance because I enjoy that beginning so much too--munching apples in a barn and meeting that odious boy from your girlhood. Delicious.

  • The Most Marvelous Summer over The Course of True Love because Matilda's last name is ffinch. (There were more reasons, of course, but it is true that I love the double f.)

The most popular books from this bracket were Tulips for Augusta and A Gentle Awakening but there seemed to be a fair amount of uneven votes which suggests that this was an easier bracket than last time.

Now on to The Hocked Locket Bracket!

As always, vote on what you can. If you're just stumbling on our TUJD March Madness, feel free to hop right in. No worries if you can only vote on one or two of the match-ups.

You genius Betties have been marvelous using my preferred voting format (votes at the top and comments on the whys and wherefores afterward.)

And here's the Book Review Archive for any refreshers you need. Let the voting begin!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Round One, A Handful of A Levels Bracket

Your Consolation Man. "Hey Girl, I know you were passionate about the homocidal twins in Sun and Candlelight but you'll always have me."
First, the results from the Barfing on His Brogues Bracket. Not a ton of surprises (Caroline's Waterloo crushed The Bachelor's Wedding which was the only clean sweep) but I did have to break a tie between Emma's Wedding and Britannia All at Sea (choosing BAaS because, though I didn't LOVE it, I found it more memorable than EW).

Sister Peters in Amsterdam
The Fateful Bargain
Blow Hot, Blow Cold
An Old-fashioned Girl
Britannia All at Sea
Magic in Vienna
Dearest Love
Dearest Eulalia
When May Follows
The Girl With Green Eyes
Making Sure of Sarah
The Vicar's Daughter
Heidleberg Wedding
An Ordinary Girl
Caroline's Waterloo
The Final Touch

And now we charge onto the A Handful of A Levels Bracket! I want to remind all the Betties that they should feel free to jump into the voting whenever they want and to vote wherever they feel they can.

Everyone did a marvelous job of putting their votes in an easily digestable form: Votes first, comments last. I thank you greatly!

Here is the link to the Book Review Archive for Betties, like me, who need a refresher on some of the titles. Voting will close next Monday.

Vote away!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Round One, The Barfing on His Brogues Bracket

Welcome to the main event Betties! Today marks the first day of voting in our Epic Quest to find The One, True Betty. Competition will be heated (but civil) and voting will close next Monday when I post the winners of this round and choose another bracket to vote on.

Again, here are our loose guidelines: Vote with any criteria you want but only vote once--either on the FB page or here in the comments. When voting, you should lead the comment with your votes so that it should (pretty please) look like this:

"Caroline's Waterloo
The Fortunes of Franscesca
The Little Dragon

I chose these books because I like donkeys and because I find 'dragon' an adorable nickname..."

and not this:

Caroline's Waterloo seems better than An Independent Woman but I'm not super sure so I just went with it. TFoF is just a fun name but then, so was the book it was going up against ('Polly')...

As always, feel free to lobby for your favorites as that is a huge part of the fun and you're welcome to lobby loud and long before casting your own votes.

Here's a link to the Uncrushable Jersey Dress reviews if anyone needs a bit of a refresher on plots. And please, please don't feel you can't vote if you haven't read everything. You're welcome to vote or not vote on any of the match-ups.

The last rule is that we have fun with this! Betties, I introduce you to The Barfing on His Brogues Bracket.

Vote away!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

March Madness Redux

We add a picture of a hot man to each one of these because we will soon need some soothing.
Go in peace, Betties.
Yes. We are doing this. Hopefully, I have sorted myself out a little better than the last time we attempted to figure out which Betty Book reigns supreme.

For one thing, I am using a spreadsheet which should help and I've broken The Canon into four brackets for ease of voting:

First, I want to make sure that everyone can access these brackets and in a few days we'll start voting on just one of them. I'm not planning on moving at too harried a pace (I'll put a new bracket up on Monday and close voting on the following Monday). I expect I'll post a link to our reviews page so that people can get a refresher if some of the titles are lost to the mists of your memory.

Your criteria for voting is up each individual Betty and I expect a lot of lobbying and persuasion to happen in the comments section here and, more probably, on the Facebook page. When you vote your comment should look like this, in that you post your winners:

Caroline's Waterloo
A Small Slice of Summer
Never the Time and the Place
etc., etc.

Comments about why you chose what you chose can go at the end. It's easier for me to sort out the votes when they're alone and clean-looking.

Remember, the first round should be pretty painless--I've tried to match books written from different eras--but it only gets harder as the days go on.

Let me know in these comments if it's complicated or something needs explaining or revising. Again, this post is not for VOTING on. We're giving a head's up and asking for feedback.

I'm excited to do this!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Getting Around to the Second Installment of "The Founding Bettys Take Europe"

I am the worst blogger ever. The holiday season came upon me like a large wave upon a small dinghy. What can I say? It swamped me.

From Chawton, deep in Jane Austen-land, our plucky band travelled to Hampton Court Palace. Truly, I wish we had saved this to be the very last thing we visited it because I am in love with HCP. Like, If I were a small, rural manor house run along economical lines but needing a new roof overhaul, HCP would be my pin-up. I would drop my handkerchief and faint into its arms in the hopes of being ruined and wed.
Hampton Court Palace, you great, gorgeous pile.
One of the things I noticed since we did both France and England, is that England has a huge sense of humor about its historical sites, having great affection for them but not taking it so seriously. (England seems also VASTLY more interested in managing their tourists--telling people what they are looking at and the significance thereof in the language of their choice.) The official audio guide to HCP didn't confirm that the ghost of Katherine Howard haunted a specific hall of HCP, it only confirmed that more fainting fits happen in that hall than anywhere else on the grounds and left one to draw conclusions. That is JUST the sort of dishy innuendo I like.

Pledge Two learning about British Escandelo!
The people who are hired to stand around in rooms making sure no one makes off with historical panelling or artfully displayed armory are also fascinating if one has the nerve, as I had, to ask them to tell you the best thing they ever saw at the castle. One fellow didn't answer that it was historical reenactments or the sun glinting just so off antique glass but the vision of a toadying director bowing so low during the visit of a minor royal that he fell straight into the mud. Excellent, England. Way to be awesome.

Only one of several massive open fireplaces. This one was converted into a toilet room and then back. The wonders of home renovation!
Of particular interest to me on the visit through the palace was the kitchens. Here I learned about Grace and Favour apartments (which I knew of before. I just didn't know it was still going on for very old pensioners.) As we stood in the kitchens, the costumed docent told us in an off-hand way that Lord Baden-Powell and his wife lived (in kind of sketchy circumstances) right there in the old kitchens. My Cub Scout Den Mother heart grew two sizes that day.

They left Lady Baden-Powell's stove. Looks like an Aga.
Another semi-hot adventuring type that lived at HCP was Earnest Shackleton.
A seven on the street. A ten when you know he crossed hundred of miles in an open boat with rudimentary navigation tools.

The last thing we did at HCP was run through the maze giggling as though we were being chased by sexy sea-captain privateers with designs upon our petticoats. We only had fifteen minutes. It was the only way.

Hotness ahoy!
After this we forged onward to London. One of the first stops was Liberty of London. Let me tell you, Bettys. The prints may have a homespun quality but that is in no way reflective of the price/yard. I sucked in my breath and took a picture.
Do you want to send your children to college or do you want to make them look cute?
We took many a train in London and collected one of the toss-away daily papers. I cannot tell you what a delight they are to me. The abiding lesson from England is that these people can laugh at just about anything.
This is a surprisingly old-fashioned column. I have read newspapers from the mid-1800s with the same stuff. I wonder if it ever works. What a tale to tell. 

My last assorted thoughts on this leg of the trip, before we move on, are about food. The hardest part of travel is finding food you love and can't get back home. For instance:

The whole of the Harrod's food hall. It's like outrageous mating plumage but on a salmon mousse...
M&S Rhubarb and Custard Drops (WIN), Orange with Bits (Okay?), Walker's Smokey Bacon Crisps (WIN), Veggie Wine Gums and plain old Wine Gums (We didn't try them but I can't think why veggie wine gums exist and can't imagine they would be an improvement on plain old wine gums. Someone needs to try them and tell me.)

Until next time, Betties!