Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review

Riding on the metro to get to work has several perks. My favorite: Reading BOOKS! I saw this ad the other day that said: I always have to buy a book from the bookstore even though I have 10 at home I haven't read....it's a curse. AMEN to that. And now that I have time to read on the metro, I am speedily reading through some of those books I have had on my shelf for years. It also means that I feel like every time I go to the bookstore, instead of one book, I have to buy two....you know, to compensate for all those other books I am reading....and yet, there are still 10 on my shelf I haven't read. OK, more than 10. I am on Goodreads, but haven't updated it yet. 

In the meantime, I thought I would put a list together of those books I have read, just to keep a 'reading journal' and provide some immediate feedback about some of them. I will also justify some of my reads....just because it will make me feel better and make me look better to my readers than if I didn't.


Currently Reading Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen: 4*

I am getting bored with the story, which is most unlikely since I love Jane Austen. I think I am having a hard time with a character who is so truly naive. This is not my favorite of Austen's works. Her writing style is different in comparison with others.


Mansfield Park, Jane Austen: 5*

I haven't read too many Jane Austen books....which will shortly be remedied, but the writing of this particular piece is beautiful. I really wish that I could read the dialogue in the ending between Fanny and Edmund. It reached its conclusion too quickly for me. I wanted more closure of feelings. However, this is not a reflection of the writing, so much as it is my own personal taste. I loved that this book took me a while to read. The dialogue and thoughts of propriety and ambition of the times were very new to me. I was exposed to some of it watching Jane Austen and time period movies/shows. However, the descriptions of it in this book lend a more revealing glance into societal pressures and norms of the time.

Edenbrook, Julianne Donaldson: 4*

This book follows the same classic style of Jane Austen books. The temper of the character is realistic, but the book was a little too predictable. It took me only three days to read because I couldn't put it down.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley: 3 1/2* for content 4 1/2* for writing

I only knew of this book by seeing the tale end of a show. The writing was different - the first chapter left me a tad confused, but I knew the writing was more artistic in nature. The concept was thrilling...and so ahead of its time. I have always thought of books that discuss a future utopian society to be thrilling. Much of the ideas were outlandish to me, and tread on the line of what I would really want to soak in. I wasn't a super huge fan of the over sexualized parts of the plot, because of my own sensibilities. I probably wouldn't recommend this book.

August 2012

Holes, Louis Sachar: 5*

I love young adult fiction. I do not need to worry so much about my sensibilities. I loved the creative genius of this book. I have always enjoyed Louis Sachar as I believe he really is a kid at heart and captures the lives of the young men quite realistically. He does a fantastic job with how a boy of those ages would really react. The storyline is impressive!

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald: 5*

Classic. A re-read for me. I loved it.

City of Glass, Paul Auster: 1/2*

Not a fan. Didn't like is rigidity or crude architecture. Didn't like the story. Read the first 3 chapters just to see if I could get past my first impressions. I couldn't, and therefore did not finish.

I have forgotten the time frame of when I read these others. I am going to say from March-August:

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie: 5*

His writing is remarkable. I still can't believe how he is able to dive into the child's mind. Toward the end though, I was ready for a good wrap up. Call it the adult in me, but there was too much Neverland for me...I was ready to leave.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens: 5*

The story is unique and wonderful. I couldn't put it down. I actually took one day of solitude to completely finish it. I was not disappointed. Generally, after reading classics, I leave wanting more....but for some reason, the ending to this book was exactly what it needed to be. I am quite impressed by the character and plot development, and love Dickens' look into the 10 year old mind.

The Great and the Terrible Series, Chris Stewart: 3 2/3*

Not quite a 4 for me. The idea is enchanting, and allows me to think about the things I know versus the things that I speculate regarding pre-mortal, mortal, and post-mortal life. I honestly have not finished the series due to the fact that I was tired of reading about destruction. I needed something more uplifting and a little less predictable. However, the predictableness in the story made me really ponder predictability of my life. While as the character in my own story, I am unable to make predictions about my life, I am sure if my life were a book series, and I could see the end and understand the knowledge of the spiritual order, my life would be predictable. Thank goodness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that lets me have piece in such an unpredictable way.

North and South, Elizabeth Glaskell: 5*

The BBC series just can't capture all the detail and moving personality of the characters. I was blown away by the deep conversations of politics and prejudices between the love interests. It made the story a little more real than what was portrayed in the BBC series. Although I love them both, I would have to say I enjoy the book better. I love Margaret Hale's character. She is deep and passionate. Glaskell really captures the intensity of industry, hard work, and entitlement. In writing, the differences between the North and South are justly argued and paint a fair picture of reality that are not quite as captured in the film.

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