October 29, 2012

When the storm comes knocking, I get to reading

Well, the good thing about being stuck in the house is that I get stuff done.  :-)  I've finished up Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels by Deirdre Le Faye and I must say it's put me in the mood for some classic literature.  It's also made me realize that there are two works by Jane that I haven't read: Sanditon and The Watsons which were published together as Minor Works.  I've already added it to my wish list. ;-)  One of the best things about this book was how it tied together everything from the time period with actual paintings.  Also, the accounts from Jane's family about what she thought of the characters and how their lives might have changed after the ends of her books was fascinating.

Next on the agenda is JK Rowling's next creation, Casual Vacancy.  I'm a huge Potterhead so I have to say that I have high expectations for her first work for adults.  I know the bare minimum (which is the way I like to start off a new novel) about this book.  It's set in a small English village and there's an opening on the council (hence the vacancy).  The book is more political than Harry Potter (although it wasn't devoid of subtle political references) and sticks to the normal rather than the paranormal. As I said, I have high expectations but I'll be sure to report my findings be they ill or favorable to you all.

Happy reading and if you're on the east coast like me STAY SAFE (and read a book)!

October 20, 2012

Pleasantly surprised

I was pleasantly surprised with the humor in From the Earth to the Moon.  It was clear that Jules Verne was definitely making a point about Americans and their inability to see obstacles in their path to impossible dreams. However, he also lauded this ability at the same time.  This book was written in 1865 and details something which would have been almost laughable at the time: a manned spacecraft.  If you're eyes are bulging out of your sockets with the thought of a man this far ahead of his time, then you should read the book.  I do need to warn you, however, that the ending kind of fell flat after the buildup created by the previous chapters.  Fans of classical literature and/or sci-fi will most definitely enjoy this read.

For my next daring adventure into literature I've chosen Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels by Deirdre Le Faye.  The title pretty much explains exactly what this book is all about.  The author discusses Jane's life and the culture of the time period in which each of her books was written.  I'm a huge fan of classical literature and Jane Austen is one my favorites so when I saw it on the shelf I practically leaped over to grab it.  From the quick flip through I see that there are several photographs, maps, and various illustrations which will no doubt further the reader's awareness of the period in which Jane lived.  I can't wait to find out what her inspiration was for Mansfield Park!!

October 16, 2012

I'm back!

I must first apologize for the lengthy intermission between this post and the last.  There's been a lot of confusion over exactly which book I'm reading right now because Parade's End came in, I read the first of the three books, and then it had to be returned because it was on hold.  Because of all of that hullabaloo, I started reading The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.  H.G. Wells is an acquired taste in my opinion. I read War of the Worlds about 5 years ago and was entirely unimpressed.  I read The Time Machine in 2008 and LOVED it.  So what did I think of The Island of Dr. Moreau?  Well, I liked it for the most part.  It was well-written and definitely kept my attention throughout the entire narrative.  I would caution anyone with a weak stomach or who has a softness for animals (like myself).  It's not light reading to be sure but it is fascinating the way this particular writer's mind works.  If you like science fiction novels, then you're likely to enjoy this one.

Speaking of sci-fi novels, I picked up an out-of-print book at a bookshop a couple of weeks ago and decided I wanted to give it a whirl while I was waiting out my book on hold.  The Day the World Ended by Sax Rohmer is about 3 men (a Frenchman, an Englishman, and an American which sounds like a bad joke) who arrive in Germany trying to solve three mysteries that turn out to be one and the same.  There is a plot to destroy the earth and they are given a choice if they would rather die with the masses or be spared with the few.  I was a little disappointed at its rather anti-climactic ending but it moved along fairly well and the characters were for the most part very likable.  Again, I'd recommend this one to any hardcore sci-fi book lover.

Of course, because I have serious compulsion issues when it comes to books I grabbed two more books from the library.  I've decided (just now incidentally) that I'm going to start From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne first because I'm in a classics kind of mood. I haven't the foggiest notion what the main plot of the story is other than it discusses space travel (and was mentioned in Back to the Future III).  I promise to be more prompt with my response this time!!

Please let me know how I'm doing and if there is anything you'd like to see more of genre-wise.  Keep those pages turning!!