March 23, 2014

Read with an eye on the past

It's important to remember the time period that a book was written in when delving into a work of classical literature. For example, The Spy came out in 1821 when American novelists were still focused on telling stories about their brethren over the pond. It was quite revolutionary (pun sooo intended) to focus a story on American soil. The story is set during the American Revolution and opens at the end of 1780. Slavery clearly still practiced and attitudes about the slaves themselves were not altogether complimentary. If you go into a work of classic literature without remembering the context of the story itself then you are doomed to find the entire body of work unpalatable. With that being said, I must say I really enjoyed The Spy. True to the style of the time there was a lot of focus on unimportant details which made a majority of the tale drag on somewhat. I felt that it didn't really pick up steam (or grab my interest) until about 3/4 of the way through. There are two fantastic characters, however, which kept me turning those pages: Captain John Lawton (of the Continental Army who is fierce, brave, and impetuous) and Harvey Birch (the spy himself who is always full of wit and intensity). These two indomitable spirits are what make this story a classic piece of American literature.

For those of you who know me outside of this blog you'll know that I have a cat. A very fat cat who has a personality as big (or bigger than) her rotund middle. So clearly the next book on my list was made for me in mind. It's How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom by Patricia Carlin with photography by Dustin Fenstermacher. I think the main premise of the book can be summed up by this sentence from the introduction: No financial opportunity will give you a greater return on investment than your cat. Flipping through the pages of the book already has me giggling as the author has paired photographs (and graphs) with semi-serious marketing strategies for raking in millions by using a cat's innate star potential. I'll read and if you don't hear from me it's because Zuzu has made me a kazillionaire.

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