Maybe I wasn’t a Nancy Drew fanatic, but I used to devour every book I could find in the Boxcar Children series and The New Adventures of Mary-Kate &aMaybe I wasn’t a Nancy Drew fanatic, but I used to devour every book I could find in the Boxcar Children series and The New Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley series as a child. I was a huge mystery reader back then, but not anymore. Picking up a mystery book again, in fact one of the best in the genre like The Hound of the Baskervilles, proved to loads to fun.
As this is my first Sherlock Holmes book, I’m not sure how the narration works in the other books but I loved it here. I’m glad that the story was told through the perspective of Dr. Watson, Holmes’ assistant. The infamous detective Sherlock Holmes is too cold and arrogant of a man and I probably couldn’t have put up with him if he took the front seat of the action. I liked how the readers got a chance to see Holmes’ wits and logic in the beginning before he went behind-the-scenes for the majority of the book until the very end. This allows Watson to shine through; his loyal charming personality as opposed to Holmes’ personality puts a twist to the story. (Apparently, in the book previous to this one, Holmes had died jumping off a cliff, but the public was so heartbroken that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had to start writing books pre-dating other Homes books. He sort of brought Holmes back from the dead this way.)
The resolution was predictable, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it. The daunting English moors, the beautiful descriptions, the page-turning plot with twists and surprises, and the interesting characters made up a great mystery. ...more
Even while having all those discussions in English class, this book read like just another survival story to me. Replace a group of stranded adults wiEven while having all those discussions in English class, this book read like just another survival story to me. Replace a group of stranded adults with a group of stranded boys and you’ve got this book, right? It’s only when I finished the entire book did the meaning finally hit me. I then found myself flipping back to various parts and noticing more and more of the purposeful syntax and actions embedded into the story. It all came together, and I had this big “Ah ha!” moment.
Meaningful it may be, but I wouldn’t call this book anything more than “pretty good.” Some parts just seemed too peculiar to me. The Lord of the Flies was frankly an odd symbol used to depict the theme. Also, the barbaric and extreme actions of the boys were out of the norm and this never allowed me to like and care for them. Though this is probably intentional, it simply made an unpleasant story. It’s no doubt a classic, but I would only recommend it to gain a point of reference. ...more
Maybe I’m missing a point here, or maybe it’s the book that is missing something. Whatever it is, I didn’t like this book. Steinbeck’s writing is fineMaybe I’m missing a point here, or maybe it’s the book that is missing something. Whatever it is, I didn’t like this book. Steinbeck’s writing is fine. It was the plot that was not at all engaging. Also the way the characters kept saying the same thing over and over again in conversations seemed to serve only as a page-filler.
The book could have developed as it progressed, but bang! and there came the absolutely unnecessary ending. It left me feeling emotionally blank with no sympathy for any of the characters. Yes, I noticed the foreshadowing, the themes, and whatnot, but I just didn’t enjoy the story. Perhaps another book, Steinbeck. ...more
This is so good that I want to read Lord of the Rings all over again. The characters, the story, and the world of Middle Earth are going to stay withThis is so good that I want to read Lord of the Rings all over again. The characters, the story, and the world of Middle Earth are going to stay with me forever! And it’s all credit to JRR Tolkien and his astounding imagination. Hats off to him; he is a genius. The genre fantasy emerged from his works, and he inspired and influenced so many other authors.
If there was one thing that I would like to have changed, then it will be that I wish females held more significant roles in the books. There’s an amazing scene with Eowyn, but the other females, very few in fact, are minor. Arwen mostly stayed out of the action, the appearances of Galadriel were few, and then there was Rosie, Shelob, and that talkative healer in Gondor, but that was really about it. Sometimes I think, “What about a female in the fellowship?” but I guess I also have to consider the time in which the book was written.
But still, this is a book everyone must read. Don't miss out! And the length of the book is a poor excuse, because it’s definitely worth your time....more
This is as great as the first book. In fact, it’s better if that is even possible, and I have a feeling that the third book is going to be nothing lesThis is as great as the first book. In fact, it’s better if that is even possible, and I have a feeling that the third book is going to be nothing less. Tolkien is seriously throwing more and more surprises at me as I read his books. He is now officially my #1 favorite author. We’ll see if any other author can change that. :]
In The Two Towers, there is more action. We meet fascinating characters like the Ents and Gollum, and we learn more about the minor characters. The character development and the relationships between the characters are like nothing I have ever read before. I loved following the characters on the map. The cliffhanger at the end was great; I'm dying to know what happens next so I must start the last book right away!...more
I used to think that Frankenstein was the monster and not the creator of the monster. I know, tsk tsk. But I bet there are numerous number of people wI used to think that Frankenstein was the monster and not the creator of the monster. I know, tsk tsk. But I bet there are numerous number of people who think that too. Confess it; I won’t bite you. No, Frankenstein is not the green-skinned blockheaded zombie with bolts in his neck. Frankenstein is the person who created the monster. There are several other things that shouldn’t trust from the movie, so it’s best to read the book instead.
I love how the story is like a set of Russian dolls. The largest doll that covers it all is Walton’s letters to his sister, and Frankenstein’s story fits inside that, and within Frankenstein’s story is the monster’s story. See how beautifully layered that is?
And it’s beautifully meaningful too. It raises great questions about humans trying to go beyond their limits when experimenting in science. Right now, nanotechnology is the hot topic full of hope, but what about the ethical dangers that could occur in the future as a result of this scientific advance? It’s stuff to ponder about.
If you want, you could block out all of the themes and symbols and just read it as a chilling horror sci-fi story. It’s quite an extraordinary book whichever way you read it. ...more
Tolkien created an entire new world to such detail—the races, the geography, the events, the languages, etc. It’s amazing how much imagination he putTolkien created an entire new world to such detail—the races, the geography, the events, the languages, etc. It’s amazing how much imagination he put into this and created something so developed and profound.
Yes, there are parts in the story that drag. The characters are sometimes traveling miles with nothing much happening. But hang in there; there are many magical and exciting events yet to come. Tolkien also takes the time to describe Middle Earth and this can be tedious to some, but when the writing is so rich and beautiful, there should be nothing to complain about! :)...more
I’m glad I read The Hobbit before I started the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are references to the key events of The Hobbit in The Fellowship of tI’m glad I read The Hobbit before I started the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are references to the key events of The Hobbit in The Fellowship of the Ring, but you can gain a lot more background information and understanding by actually reading the book. One thing I didn’t like was how the conflict was resolved. I thought the matters were finalized too easily. Of course, it is written for children so I guess the story was meant to stay simple and not complicated. Still, it was a really good book. I liked the adventures, the characters, and light and humorous tone. It was a lot of fun reading it....more
My first encounter of Little Women was when I read the Portraits of Little Women books by Susan Beth Pfeffer when I was young. Those books were a greaMy first encounter of Little Women was when I read the Portraits of Little Women books by Susan Beth Pfeffer when I was young. Those books were a great introduction to Little Women, but the actual book is even better.
I adore this book. Each chapter is like a new story and a new lesson to learn. And reading about the four girls--their flaws, their strengths, their adventures, how their character develops--was absolutely cherishing. All the characters are great actually, and the moments they have together are heartwarming and comical. This is truly a lovely novel. ...more
**spoiler alert** It started off so great with that wonderful starting sentence, but it didn't continue as strongly after that one paragraph. I think**spoiler alert** It started off so great with that wonderful starting sentence, but it didn't continue as strongly after that one paragraph. I think it was the last 50 pages of the book that really made me change my opinion. Starting from when they lock up their father. :D OMG, I loved that part! And his second book sounds so interesting--how he's using puzzles and patterns to depict an abstract meaning. Brilliant. I never fell for Simon or Neil, and Cassandra isn't my "role model," but I found everything about the father interesting, as strange as it sounds....more
I thought this book was an excellent read. I loved the way Stevenson wrote it--giving nothing away in the beginning and letting the mystery unravel onI thought this book was an excellent read. I loved the way Stevenson wrote it--giving nothing away in the beginning and letting the mystery unravel only at the very very end. It would have been fun to actually predict along the way like Utterson. However, like almost everyone else, I knew the plot before I had read the book. Nevertheless, there were still surprisingly a lot of things I had not known about before. Also, Stevenson has a lot of "silences" in the book, even at the end of the story. This leaves it up to us to use our imaginations and ponder on the unexplained aspects of the book. Overall, it is interesting and worth reading....more
"You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this count"You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn't that right? .... Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? .... Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it."
That is exactly the firemen's job in this futuristic, sci-fi book--starting fires to burn books instead of putting out fires. In this society, reading and owning books is a crime. You could get arrested for simply being a pedestrian. Front porches and rocking chairs were removed so people wouldn't be able to sit and talk. But, spending time with your technological parlor wall "family" is encouraged. The people were ignorant of knowledge, creativity, world issues, nature, etc., and were wrapped up in their bubble of shallowness and blindness of the rest of the world. This is the vision in the frightening future that Bradbury portrays.
Guy Montag, the protagonist, is a firemen, and he loves his work, thinking that he is actually doing good to his society. His perspective completely changes as he meets new people, like the innocent 17-year-old girl Clarisse. She teaches Montag to slow down and observe, pay attention. To think.
"I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly," she said. "If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he'd say, that's grass! A pink blur? That's a rose-garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn't that funny, and sad, too?"
"Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last."
"Bet I know something else you don't. There's dew on the grass in the morning."
"And if you look"-she nodded at the sky-"there's a man in the moon."
"Are you happy?" she said.
And, all of a sudden, Montag realizes the wrongdoing of burning books, and his life becomes in danger.
Chilling. Disturbing. Amazing. This book makes you think about life today, and wonder if we may be closer than we think to that grim future in Fahrenheit 451. ...more
I started reading Wuthering Heights with the impression that it was going to be dragged out and boring. This of course is the wrong attitude before beI started reading Wuthering Heights with the impression that it was going to be dragged out and boring. This of course is the wrong attitude before beginning a book.
As the story progressed, however, I had to continue reading to know what would happen next. Bronte did an excellent job in developing her characters, especially Heathcliff. I liked how the plot spans over a lifetime, and how each of the characters changes under certain circumstances. I especially liked the second half of the book. I was afraid that I wouldn't like how the story would end, but the bittersweet ending was simply perfect.
The only flaws I can think of at the moment are the following:
-- Bronte names the children after the parents. So, it gets confusing and becomes hard to get the family tree straight with all the Catherine's and Linton's. There are quite a lot of other names to choose from.
-- I didn't like how the story was told by Ellen Dean. It just seems unrealistic that she was in the corner of every room while every significant or personal event in the story unfolded. Also, she isn't very reliable, and there isn't much evidence that what she narrated was correct.
-- This isn't really a flaw, but Joseph's strong accent was very hard to follow even by the end of the book. I simply skipped over the parts where he talked. He is a minor character, only a servant, so I don't think I missed too much.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I'm glad I read it, and I might even read it a second time.
Don’t you just love it when you get that warm contented feeling after you read a good book? And you just want the last sentences, the last words to laDon’t you just love it when you get that warm contented feeling after you read a good book? And you just want the last sentences, the last words to last forever, so you read it slowly, letting it roll over your tongue.
This book left me feeling like just that. It was wonderful. I liked all 500 or so pages of it, every sentence was written beautifully, and nothing should have been taken out. Compelling, sad and funny, this was one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Definitely recommended. ...more
I loved it. It's nothing like the movie. Except the fact that the family has a dozen kids. And, I assure you the book is much better than the movie...I loved it. It's nothing like the movie. Except the fact that the family has a dozen kids. And, I assure you the book is much better than the movie... which is the case almost always.
Anyway, it's about a father, who is an motion-efficiency expert, and the mother and their kids. There isn't much of a main plot in the book, but instead contains a bunch of (very funny) incidents of the family (that makes you burst out laughing every time--guaranteed). And, something that's really cool is that it's a TRUE story written by two of the children! Which makes the book even better! :D...more