First Sentence: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents", grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
P. 99: "The garden had to be put in order, and eachFirst Sentence: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents", grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
P. 99: "The garden had to be put in order, and each sister had a quarter of the little plot to do what she liked with."
Last sentence: ""Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!"
I loved this book... I saw the movie as a child and recently again and that made me decide to go and buy the book. And I was not dissapointed. Off course this book is dated, but I think that when you read books like this, you must read them with the time they were written in your mind. And then this is a beautiful story about love and growing up. There is humour, morality, tragedy, and much more. So I laughed a little and shed a few tears while reading the story, and that's what makes a book work for me (allthough there are books that don't have these aspects and that work for me too). And best of all, all's well that ends well. I love happy endings.First Sentence: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents", grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
First sentence: “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peepedFirst sentence: “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’”
P. ??: “Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all directions, ‘just like a star-fish’, thought Alice.”
Last sentence: “Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make THEIR eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”
Although this is a children’s book, it really is a magnificent read for grown-ups too. The story is certainly enchanting, but there are a lot of layers that you perhaps miss as a child, but that you can discover and enjoy when grown-up. I especially like the play with language, and that was the reason I re-read it.
First sentence: “If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn’t have believed it, said Mrs. Jo to Mrs.First sentence: “If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn’t have believed it, said Mrs. Jo to Mrs. Meg, as they sat on the piazza at Plumfield one summer day, looking about them with faces full of pride and pleasure.”
P. 99: “It seemd as if he felt that he owed him reparation for the foolish act that might have cost him his life, and love being stronger than will, Ted forgot his pride, and paid his debt like an honest boy.”
Last sentence: “And now, having endeavoured to suit everyone by many weddings, few deaths, and as much prosperity as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall for ever on the March family.”
Little Men is the sequel to Little Women, and Jo’s Boys in its turn is the sequel to Little Men. Because I read Little Women, and liked it a lot, I thought I had better read the two other books also, but perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea. I really liked Little Men, but not Jo’s Boys. I got really tired of all the good and honest people, the moral lessons, and the fact that there did seem a lack of storytelling. I read somewhere Louisa May Alcott didn’t really want to write sequels to Little Women, and I think it shows, especially in the last book (cf. See the last sentence of Jo’s Boys; it seems as if she is really happy to end the story of the Marches.).
All in all I am happy I read them, but I’m sure that I will never reread the two sequels. ...more
First sentence: “Please sir, is this Plumfield?”, asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him.
P. 99: “Oh, weFirst sentence: “Please sir, is this Plumfield?”, asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him.
P. 99: “Oh, we just play be men, and sit round stiff and stupid like grown-up folks, and dance to please the girls.”
Last sentence: “For love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.
First sentence: "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.
P. 99: "The two youngest MissFirst sentence: "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.
P. 99: "The two youngest Miss Thorpes were by themselves in the parlour; and, on Anne's quitting it to call her sister, Catherine took the opportunity of asking the other for some particulars of their yesterday's party."
Last sentence: "I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience."
When I started to read this book, I knew nothing about the story or the subject. And therefore I was a bit surprised when it turned out to be the story of a rather naive, though sympathetic young girl that leaves her family and village for the first time in her life to spend some weeks with friends of the family at Bath. I had certainly expected something else. But that didn't mean I couldn't appreciate this book . As in many of Mrs. Austen's books, the tone is cynical, here more than in other titles, and often the author involves the reader, by speaking directly to her or him.
Although Northanger Abbey is not immediately my favourite title by Jane Austen, it certainly was an enjoyable read.
First sentence: "London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall."
P. 99: "I could not help it; I tried veryFirst sentence: "London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall."
P. 99: "I could not help it; I tried very hard, but being alone with that benevolent presence, and meeting his kind eyes, and feeling so happy and so honoured there, and my heart so full..."
Last sentence: "But I know that my dearest little pets are very pretty, and that my darling is very beautiful, and that my husband is very handsome, and that my guardian has the brightest and most benevolent face that ever was seen, and that they can very well do without much beauty in me - even supposing -"
Bleak House, for me, was an unknown novel of Dickens. I read it because it was on Belgian television as a series some time ago which I recorded and am now watching. I liked the book very much; it is what I should call a typical Dickens story, with much cynism and satire, with weird characters who are either very good or very bad, and with a happy ending. With this book Dickens wanted to protest against the inadequacy and even stupidity of the law system of the Chancelory in England. But this protest is merely a background for the story of Esther, Ada, Richard, Lady and Sir Dedlock and many other characters. If you like Dickens, you should read this book too.
First sentence: “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.”
P. 99: “SFirst sentence: “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.”
P. 99: “So they said I could have a home there as long as I wanted it.”
Last sentence: “I been there before.”
This was a book I ment to read for a long time, but never got to it. But now that I have committed myself to the Classics project 2011 Challenge and the 2011 E-Book Challenge, I saw no reason to postpone reading it any longer. Although it didn’t take me very long to read it, I cannot say I really loved it. The book tells about the adventures of a poor boy, his growing up in a tough world and his friendship with a “nigger”. I write this word on purpose, because I have heard that the plan is to take it out of any new editions, and I think this is wrong. You have to see this book in the context, place and time when it was written, and the word definitely fits into these. Twain tried with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to make people see black people differently, not as things or animals anymore, but as human beings. I liked this aspect of the book very much… but the story in itself didn’t appeal to me, maybe because the world depicted in it is so different from the one I am living in now. I doubt that is the real reason, however, because I loved other books that told about even stranger worlds. Perhaps it is because the world of Huckleberry Finn is in essence not that different after all?
First sentence: “The rambler who, for old association or other reasons, should trace the forsaken coach-road running almost in a meridional line fromFirst sentence: “The rambler who, for old association or other reasons, should trace the forsaken coach-road running almost in a meridional line from Bristol to the south shore of England, would find himself during the latter half of his journey in the vicinity of some extensive woodlands, interspersed with apple-orchards.”
P. 99: “Melbury had purchased some standing timber from her a long time before, and now that the date had come for felling it he was left to pursue almost his own course.”
Last sentence: “But no, no, my love, I never can forget ‘ee; for you was a GOOD man, and did good things!”
I loved this book; it takes you into this specific atmosphere that I really like and that is quite typical for many English books from the late ninenteenth-early twentieth century. Perhaps you could compare it with the novels of Jane Austen, although in this book the emphasis lies not so much with character-development, the story is the most important aspect.
This was the first book I read on my e-reader and I have to say I kind of liked it. After a few minutes at the most I completely forgot I was reading on a device instead of in a paper edition. I could hold the e-reader in my left hand and push the button for going to the next page with the thumb of that hand. One thing only; when I took the reader in my hand in the store to feel its weight, I was pleased that it was weighing next to nothing. But when I had put in the battery at home, it was weighing considerably more, so that after reading for an hour or so, my left hand did hurt a bit. But perhaps one gets use to that after a while....more
First sentence: "This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve."
P. 99: "I doubted for a moment whetFirst sentence: "This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve."
P. 99: "I doubted for a moment whether I ought to follow and speak to her or not."
Last sentence: "Marian was the good angel of our lives - let Marian end our Story."
I have to admit that until a couple of months (or perhaps even a year) ago, I had never heard of Wilkie Collins, but when I started reading book blogs and bookish news, his name popped up now and then. The title The Woman in White especially appealed to me and when Erin of Erin Reads talked about reading this book for Reading Buddies in November, I knew I had to participate.
My reading started rather slow, 10 pages the first day, and two days nothing because of being rather busy with other stuff. But when I did start reading seriously, I couldn't stop. I really loved the rather romantic and yet exciting story told in a fluent style, I loved that different parts were told by different people and I adored some characters. Of course the story plays in the 19th century and many of the events and characters would not be believable in a contemporary setting, but that, for me, is the biggest appeal of books like this one.
If you haven't read anything by Wilkie Collins and you love 19th century stories, I sure would advice you to do it now.
P. 99: “After it had passed away, they were ten times merrier than before, from the mere relief of ScFirst sentence: “Marley was dead: to begin with.”
P. 99: “After it had passed away, they were ten times merrier than before, from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with.
Last sentence: “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One.”
I wanted to re-read A Christmas Carol partly because it was mentioned a lot in A Prayer for Owen Meany (and it played a crucial role in this story) that I read a couple of weeks ago, partly because I heard it mentioned a lot on book blogs because it is without doubt one of the books of the season…
And I loved it as much as I did before.
Of course most of you know what it is all about, but for those few who don’t, here a summary of the plot as given on Wikipedia (SPOILERS):
The tale begins on a Christmas Eve in 1843 exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge hates Christmas, calling it “humbug”, refuses his nephew Fred’s dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the Poor. His only “Christmas gift” is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay – which he does only to keep with social custom, Scrooge considering it “a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!”.
Returning home that evening, Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost, who warns him to change his ways lest he undergo the same miserable afterlife as himself. Scrooge is then visited by three additional ghosts – each in its turn, and each visit detailed in a separate stave – who accompany him to various scenes with the hope of achieving his transformation.
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of his boyhood and youth, which stir the old miser’s gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. They also show what made Scrooge the miser that he is, and why he dislikes Christmas.
The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several differing scenes – a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, the celebration of Christmas in a miner’s cottage, and a lighthouse. A major part of this stave is taken up with the family feast of Scrooge’s impoverished clerk Bob Cratchit, introducing his youngest son, Tiny Tim, who is seriously ill but cannot receive treatment due to Scrooge’s unwillingness to pay Cratchit a decent wage.
The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed – including Tiny Tim’s death. Scrooge’s own neglected and untended grave is revealed, prompting the miser to aver that he will change his ways in hopes of changing these “shadows of what may be.”
In the fifth and final stave, Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, then spends the day with his nephew’s family after anonymously sending a prize turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. Scrooge has become a different man overnight and now treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity and compassion, gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas. The story closes with the narrator confirming the validity, completeness and permanence of Scrooge’s transformation.
This story, although written in the middle of the 19th Century, will never lose its appeal, because it deals with human character traits that are of all times. If you haven’t read it, do so now.