I've read all the stories in this collection (save for one) in The Dunwich Horror back in November 2009, though I have not yet read this particular co...moreI've read all the stories in this collection (save for one) in The Dunwich Horror back in November 2009, though I have not yet read this particular collection. I've rated it, though, as I adored The Dunwich Horror and am so glad that my favorite stories are in this collection - particularly "The Whisperer in Darkness", the first Lovecraft story I ever read. Will be a bedside staple for a long time to come.(less)
A fun little book, and an excellent introduction to Agatha Christie.
There's not much to say on this one; it's a classic "who done it?" scenario. A man...moreA fun little book, and an excellent introduction to Agatha Christie.
There's not much to say on this one; it's a classic "who done it?" scenario. A man is murdered on a snowbound train. It would seem that none of the passengers would have a motive for killing the man, a group of 12 strangers, but as per usual in murder mysteries, the funny little man with the fantastic mustache figures it all out in the end.
I must say, I really had no idea who did done it. I was thinking perhaps the Hungarian fellow and Ms. Debenham, but in the end... I won't say exactly, but there is neat little a twist.(less)
**spoiler alert** It's like a written version of a Twilight Zone episode. Huge twist at the end, and very sad. What a condemned man imagines mere seco...more**spoiler alert** It's like a written version of a Twilight Zone episode. Huge twist at the end, and very sad. What a condemned man imagines mere seconds before he is hanged.(less)
I faintly remember reading this - or having it read to me - in elementary school, but as my aunt recently gave me an old(er) copy, I decided to read i...moreI faintly remember reading this - or having it read to me - in elementary school, but as my aunt recently gave me an old(er) copy, I decided to read it again. Very cute with a good moral, and the drawings are adorable and perfectly illustrate the scenes.(less)
**spoiler alert** I don't know why it took me nearly a year to go from reading the first book to the second book, but I want to kick myself for that....more**spoiler alert** I don't know why it took me nearly a year to go from reading the first book to the second book, but I want to kick myself for that. I really enjoyed reading The Two Towers, as much as the Fellowship, but there were a few things that stuck out to me, of which I made notes as I read.
First, are the Ents. I didn't care for the Ents in the movies, but adored them in the book. Treebeard seemed much more likable and empathetic to the War, rather than in the movies where he didn't seem to care either way. I loved the story of the Ents and Entwives, how neither was satisfied with the other and suffer with their loss. Some of Treebeard's lines when he expresses his love for the forest and trees, were beautiful.
There was a paragraph about three-quarters of the way through the book (page 657 [254:] in the edition I read from) that really hit home the magnitude of what Frodo was attempting to accomplish. It is a short while after Sam and Frodo meet Faramir and his men. Frodo is torn between wanting to tell Faramir everything about the ring, to have someone for counsel and confidence, yet he is terrified that Faramir may be tempted the same way Boromir, his brother, was. The paragraph succinctly describes how alone Frodo is in dealing with the Ring. Sure, there is trustful Sam, but the weight of it all is on Frodo's shoulders. And when presented with the opportunity to speak about all that has happened, the whole truth, he doesn't know if he can truly trust Faramir, no matter how kind his words are (later we learn that Faramir is trustworthy, however). Why, even Gandalf admitted that were he to have the ring, in his desire to do good he could succumb to evil at the Ring's power. That was one of the many passages that really hit me.
Another paragraph that I found especially wonderful, happened near the end (page 699 [296:] in my edition); Gollum has led Sam and Frodo up the stairs at Cirith Ungol, in the hopes of Frodo (and Sam) being eaten by Shelob so Smeagol/Gollum can take the ring for himself (or their selves, whichever). After visiting with Shelob, Gollum comes upon the prone figures of Sam and Frodo. For an instant, Gollum shows the empathic emotions that are still within him. He falters, questioning if he wants to go through with the plan. He even lovingly places a hand, hesitatingly, on Frodo's knee. Undoubtedly, Gollum was showing what shred of remorse for what he has done, and what he is about to do. One could still see the old Smeagol, pre-Ring -- once happy and kind -- hidden under the distorted and torturous layers imposed by the very thing he worships and loves. It was painful to read, for sadness. I also believe, in those brief moments, his thoughts went to Deagol, his best friend, whom he murdered for want of the Ring. All that he has lost. It was a painful passage to read, for sadness.
This book was definitely more heavy than the first book, in which the true malicious dangers weren't revealed until nearer the end. And at least the entire party was together, not broken apart, each to their own journeys. And though I've already seen the third LotR movie numerous times, I can't wait for the culmination of the third book.
(Also; the maps. One of my favorite things about the series [aside from the scope of its plots and characters:] is following the characters journeys via the maps. It's so fun and involved. I love that after a chapter or two I can flip back and forth to the maps and my eyes go right to where the characters would be, and I memorize the cities and countries and geographic regions. It's fantastic.)(less)
This was required reading for my British Literature class in high school and one of the few required readings that I very much enjoyed. Perfect satire...moreThis was required reading for my British Literature class in high school and one of the few required readings that I very much enjoyed. Perfect satire, and I must buy my own copy.(less)
It's very hard to describe this book. Imagine a group of people that are born in the air and grow down. A man that is the shortest giant and the fatte...moreIt's very hard to describe this book. Imagine a group of people that are born in the air and grow down. A man that is the shortest giant and the fattest thin man. Conducting the sunrise. Edible words and numbers, the latter of which make you hungrier the more you eat. Triple Demons of Compromise, The Overbearing Know-it-all and Gross Exaggeration, and Threadbare Excuse -- all Demons of Ignorance. Jumping, literally jumping, to the island of Conclusions. Rhyme and Reason, who are actually sisters, without whom the land of Wisdom is in turmoil. And yet all these (seeming incongruous, yet not) things hardly scratch the surface of this crazy, fun, educational adventure story. I remember reading parts of it in my English class in elementary school, and I was so excited to read it again! Nearly 13 years have passed since I first read it (the only thing I remembered was the Dodecahedron) and that has given me more insight. Instead of just reading it for fun and/or required reading, I applied what I read to real life. How jumping to conclusions is not the best way to overcome something. That exaggerating isn't good for anyone. And lying, insincerity, and doing meaningless tasks to procrastinate gets you nowhere. This is one of those childrens books that has more levels the older age you read it at, and I love that.(less)
Maybe it's because I grew up, along with how many tens of millions of others, with the mythology of pirates in my head, or maybe it's the adrenaline-p...moreMaybe it's because I grew up, along with how many tens of millions of others, with the mythology of pirates in my head, or maybe it's the adrenaline-pumping action of a good adventure story, but I absolutely loved this book. In fact, I had to force myself to set it aside for a few hours at a time, to draw it out as long as I could stand, to savor every aspect of the classic story. I was not, nor am I now, well-versed in pirate lore, or knew at all the tale of Treasure Island and Long John Silver. But I did see the Disney spin on the tale, Treasure Planet, and upon seeing that movie (which I really enjoyed), I knew I had to read the book counterpart. As I said, I loved it. From he foreshadowing and development, to the choice of words and phrase and buildup that left me breathless in all the right places (Hawkins and Hands fighting on the nearly-sinking Hispaniola, the six remaining mutineers finding the treasure has been taken long before they set foot on the island), to Silver himself, a man you can't help put love in spite of good conscience. It all coalesced so perfectly as to make a book that I am happy to add to my "favorites" collection. So, so, so worth the read!(less)
**spoiler alert** This book was a million times better than the movie, though aren't they all? Yes, it has everything we remember as a kid -- Artax dy...more**spoiler alert** This book was a million times better than the movie, though aren't they all? Yes, it has everything we remember as a kid -- Artax dying in the Swamp of Eternal Sadness, Falkor the luckdragon, even the wolf that gave us all nightmares, Gmork -- but that is only nearly the first half of the book. That's where the movie ended. But it gets so much better! Bastian is entrusted with AURYN and every of his wishes are granted. He begins to lose his memory of his life in our world, as a human, and gradually he realizes that he needs to find true happiness in order to return to his world. But in order to find happiness, he must wish his way through adventures and such, which causes him to lose his memory and nearly forget why he is wishing in the first place. Fantastic, fantastic book. I loved how many characters there were and yet we got a full taste of their personalities, how many mini-adventures lie within the big adventure, and above all I loved the moral. This is one of those books that will stick around with me for a long, long time.(less)