Thursday, January 16, 2014

Forsyte Saga - Complete

The Forsyte Saga - CompleteThe Forsyte Saga - Complete by John Galsworthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, it took me quite some time to actually finish this one off. I definitely was suffering from book ADD. However, while it was hard to stick with it, the story was well written and in parts enjoyable. Certainly not edge of the seat action, it is typical Brit Lit character study following several generations of Forsytes. However, it was interesting if not exciting, and definitely has soap opera moments. The writing is brilliant and is the reason that I kept with it even if I had to put it down and pursue something different.

One of my favorite passages was describing the automobile, "The thing typified all that was fast, insecure, and subcutaneously oily in modern life."

I am glad that I stuck with it. It brings up some interesting points and is a very well written character study.

One more off the 1001 list!

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was very different than my preconceived notion of it. I am not sure what my preconception was based on, but while it was a love story, of sorts, it is more like what I would imagine would come out if Stephen King decided to write a love story. Everyone in the story is miserable because they are in love with someone and not honest about it and have to watch life play out in a different direction. The story is much more twisted and dark than I had expected, and I liked it. It was like watching a train wreck. I had to keep reading to find out what horrid turn would occur next. I found it fascinating and imminently readable. For those who are intimidated by or enamored of the classics, I would recommend this one.

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Catching up - Count of Monte Cristo

I have been reading, just haven't been writing my reviews due to pregnancy and child birth. So, I will attempt to catch up in the coming days. Here is my review of The Count of Monte Cristo which I finished in October, 2013. The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. While it is definitely lengthy (I actually read it for a 1000+ page challenge), I love the study of the human mind and spirit and this has that in spades. What a human soul can endure and overcome is amazing. This story is a classic for a reason. It examines the complete spectrum of human emotion and I would highly recommend it to all.

The part that stuck with me, though, is the re-examination of the revenge plan when unintended consequences occur. Edmond is not so blinded by revenge that he is unable to question whether he is on the right path.

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Monday, June 17, 2013


So, I finally got Microsoft Office for my new computer and combined all of the lists into one spreadsheet. (I had the 2006 list in Excel, and the 2008, 2010, and 2012 updates in Word). So, after all is said and done, I am now up to 51 read on the combined list and am currently reading Count of Monte Cristo and Forsyte Saga (which are both 2006 list books). I feel very accomplished. Now, to do more reading!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Everything is Illuminated? I'm not so sure...

Everything is IlluminatedEverything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Certainly entertaining, but definitely hard to follow. I couldn't tell which parts were supposed to be real and with so many of the characters sharing the same name or being referred to by relationship, I found it very difficult to keep things straight.

I can't say that I'm sorry I read it, but I am still trying to figure out what the take away message is. Maybe that's the point.

Also, a little put off by the use of the "f" word in 1791. Maybe it is just in my head, but in my head people didn't talk like that back then.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wise ChildrenWise Children by Angela Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The writing style of this book really through me off. Stream of consciousness combined with a slew of characters all who also have nicknames... it was hard to keep up. Separate from that, I did find that there were aspects of the book that I really liked. It makes an interesting commentary on the true meaning of family, and it is a fantastical view of a very interesting period of time from WWI through the 80's between London and Hollywood.

These are my two favorite quotes:
"I've done many a quick change, in the wings, in panto, in revue, but never one as quick as this. And so it came to pass that it was as Bottom the Weaver in plus-fours and an ass's head, that I went to my own wedding. I was beginning to see the funny side. It isn't every day you see yourself get married." - p. 157

""'D'you know, I sometimes wonder if we haven't been making him up all along,' she said. 'If he isn't just a collection of our hopes and dreams and wishful thinking in the afternoons. Something to set our lives by, like the old clock in the hall, which is real enough, in itself, but which we have to wind up to make it go.'" - p. 230

So, there were some enjoyable points. The bottom line is the story is a good one. I just found the chosen narrative style in combination with the wide variety of characters to be confusing and sometimes distracting. But, I did like the book.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan DenisovichOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can certainly understand why this book is on the 1001 Books list. It is hard to believe that what is described is truly one day in prison life. So much happens even though so little happens. The constant jockeying to survive. Getting an extra portion, begging a last drag, working in freezing temperatures. It is mesmerizing. I am going to have to track down a copy of The Oak and the Calf to learn more about Solzhenitsyn's life.

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