At the beginning of the year I knew that I needed to spend more time reading – and away from my tablet and laptop. So every evening I try to set aside at least 30 minutes for reading. This usually ends up being the entire 6pm hour, between our 5pm dinner and 7pm coffee (and we don’t drink decaf!). I didn’t read as much as I had wanted to the last two or more years, and I knew that too much staring at a screen isn’t good.
I finished my tenth book this Wednesday, and I figured it would be nice to share those books here with a quick thought or two. I stink at book reviews (and never cared for them in school), so don’t set your expectations high haha.
So, from the beginning…
- I’ve had Jane Eyre in my pile of books for a few years, having picked it up at a library book sale (as I do with most of my books). I hesitated to read it because it’s long and I was concerned that my attention span would be an issue. Nope! I loved the Gothic themes, and I really enjoyed Jane’s character. The ending had me crying, it was that sweet and it made me happy. This now ranks as one of my all-time favorites, and really started off 2017 on an excellent note! (I did watch the 2011 movie adaptation with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, which didn’t do it justice; I may try to find another adaptation to watch.)
2. Pride and Prejudice was my first Jane Austen book. I had a hard time getting adjusted to the writing style. It was alright, but I may try to reread it at a later time and see if I get more enjoyment from it with better clarity.
3. I’ve read a few other Margaret Atwood books before (the MaddAddam trilogy, The Penelopiad, and The Handmaid’s Tale), so I was acquainted with her style. I also enjoyed Alias Grace, based on a true story of a woman in the mid-19th century accused of murder. Told in the points of view of two main characters, each has their unique way of speaking and thinking. It was fun, and the ending was sweet.
4. I confess that the only vampire movie/show I’ve ever seen in its entirety is the classic film Nosferatu. I decided to give Dracula to sort of give myself a bit of understanding on the whole vampire thing. The book was alright – I thought that Van Helsing was unnecessarily wordy and annoying. (I understand that he was the person who was knowledgeable in vampires, but he could have been less wordy haha). And I think I expected more in terms of horror (like more victims). What I probably liked most about this book was the way it was written – diary entries, newspaper articles, telegrams, etc from the different characters in the book. And I appreciated the footnotes and endnotes in these B&N Classics series to help with some vocabulary and context. I wouldn’t say that this book sparked an interest in me for any more vampire-themed movies, books, or shows, however.
5. I love dystopians. Love love love them. And alternate history is another genre I want to eventually get into. The Sound of His Horn was short (around 100 pages I think) yet incredibly creepy. Humans trained to act like animals, to be game for hunters. And hypothesizing if the Nazis won WW2 (it was a short story, so I knew not to expect much detail – just this snippet of a story/incidence). It was a fun read for me.
6. I decided to give Austen another try, and sooner than I planned. (I got this recently at B&N, along with two other books – so it was in easy reach.) I liked Persuasion more than P&P. Probably because I was a bit more accustomed to Austen’s style and knew what to expect. I liked Anne’s character here more than P&P‘s Elizabeth. And again, the extra notes in this collection were very helpful.
7. I wanted a classic book about pirates (another thing I never really got into – and I don’t care much for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies), and I got a nice introduction to it with Treasure Island. My regret was not keeping a dictionary by my side at the beginning, because I was totally lost on the nautical terminology haha. It was a short book, had steady action, and was a fun read.
8. (Oh hey, I cut my hair a bit shorter again at this point.) Matt Walsh is my favorite conservative and Christian blogger, so as soon as he mentioned that he was publishing a book, I immediately pre-ordered The Unholy Trinity. His trademark bold, unapologetic, and witty style had me hooked the entire time, and it also brought up some new points I previously had not considered. An excellent read, and I hope that he publishes more books in the future. My mom is reading it now, and she’s also enjoying it. I recommend it to my fellow conservatives.
9. I had read a few of Aesop’s Fables many years ago, so I thought it would be fun to read this collection of 203 stories. What was awesome is that most stories are shorter than one page, and there were a few old illustrations… so it was a very fast read! I liked the stories.
10. Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite authors – of course I read Little Women and its sequels when I was younger, but she has a largely unknown darker, more sinister side. She liked to write “blood and thunder” stories, and published several under various pseudonyms. One such novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase, is one of my all-time faves. This book, Behind a Mask, is a collection of four of her thrillers. There’s revenge, deceit, and manipulation galore. The titular story, Behind a Mask, had a few slight similarities with Jane Eyre, so that was fun.
I also read all 150 Psalms and the entire New Testament this year during Lent as my daily Lenten discipline – I calculated how many chapters to read each day and made a chart, so it was easy to keep myself on-track. I did this with my mom, and I liked that we occasionally had discussions about that day’s readings. I’m now thinking of reading a bit of my Bible each month – like maybe read only the four gospels next month, and the following month Genesis, etc.
Also, BookOutlet.com is PHENOMENAL. I’ve gotten 25 books from them for less than $100 (including shipping). They don’t have nearly as much of a selection as B&N or Amazon, but their prices can’t be beat and sometimes they have sales on top of their already-low prices. I occasionally browse through their Classics section to see if any new titles have been added. They take PayPal, which is great because I like to use my Etsy and eBay sales for some of my online shopping.
Whew. This is probably my longest post on this blog, ever! Now I need to return to Book #11, which will be shared in my next batch of
lame and you can find better write-ups elsewhere reviews.
Until next time…