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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Madame Bovary

Title: Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Published: 1857

I read it, and was not altogether impressed. Honestly, it made me wonder why it's a classic, so after finishing the book I read a little bit about it to find out. It's a classic because if its realism. That makes sense.

It was very real, despite the main character's desire to live a romantic life. She wanted everything to be like the novels she was reading, but instead, her husband was dull, her baby drooled on her, her adultery quickly lost its charm, and bills came due.

Her death was as unromantic as it could get. It was painful, long lasting, agonizing, and messy. Even her postmortem experience missed the mark for her; all dressed up in her wedding gown and made to look beautiful, her head is lifted a bit and some black liquid spews out of her mouth, staining her beautiful array.

Real life is messy, and disappointing. So now that I know what it was supposed to be about, looking back it was a good book and made some good points. I wouldn't read it again, though.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Title: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Published: 1852

I was eager to read this to find out what made it so great. Was it so well known because it was a great novel, or because of what it achieved?

Many critics called the book sentimental. Harriet Beecher Stowe obviously cared deeply about the plight of the slave, and she was motivated to change the hearts of the people in this country so that the travesty of slavery would end. Because of this, there is the temptation to go too far, sacrificing the story to make a point. There are moments where Stowe interrupts the flow of the narrative to lecture the reader, to prove a point which has already been expertly proven by what has happened in the story itself.

These moments are few, however, and only mildly annoying. The story itself is beautiful. I fell in love with some characters, was disgusted by others, and thought about them throughout the day.

This book is certainly not outdated. Although slavery has ended, there was so much to think about as I was reading it. It challenged me in many ways: The way mother my children, the way I treat others, and in my Christian walk.

This is not a light read, but I would assuredly read it again! This is a worthy book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moby Dick

Title: Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville
Published: 1851

I never thought I'd be sorry to have read a non-abridged classic.

First, it amazes me that it's taken nearly a year for me to read this book. Part of it was the business of life in general, especially the whole part where we adopted three children ages three and down. But that cannot be my only excuse. I found it painful to read.

The beginning was great. Funny, even. I laughed at the meeting between Ishmael and Queequeg, and it gave me an enthusiasm for the rest of the book.

There were several chapters which did showcase Melville's talent for comedic writing, but they were lost amongst the chapters so full of detail that I lost interest. I dreaded reading it. By the end there were many times where I was reading on auto-pilot, skimming along in hopes that something would happen. Of course the symbolism was lost on me. I stopped paying attention.

To anyone who is going to tackle this beast, choose an abridged version.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Scarlet Letter

Title: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Published: 1850

I read the Bantam Classic version.

I loved it. Despite not having much time, I made time for this book and finished it quickly. I loved reading and not knowing what was going to happen. Somehow I've made it through 39 years in this world without hearing how this book ended, so it wasn't spoiled one bit for me.

It truly was a pleasure to read.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jane Eyre

I finished Jane Eyre awhile ago and loved it so much that I'm now taking a leave from the list and reading Villette, also by Charlotte Bronte.

I won't be writing about what I'm reading here anymore. I'm finding that it's much more pleasant to just read the books and be done with them, and I just don't have the time anymore anyway.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Next Up: Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Published: 1847

Bauer recommends the Signet Classic Edition (1993), which I already have on my shelf.

I read it for the first time in March of this year. Because it was so recent, I considered skipping it and moving on to the next on the list, but I can't. It is Jane Eyre, after all! I can't wait to read it again!