I short book that can be read it a sitting, A Man Without a Country is a touch irreverent, a bit indulgent, and as funny as we've come to expect from...moreI short book that can be read it a sitting, A Man Without a Country is a touch irreverent, a bit indulgent, and as funny as we've come to expect from the writer of Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions. In his last book, Vonnegut shares a collection of experiences that is sure to give readers insight into the life of the man who was one of the great writers of the 20th century.(less)
I don't know how I got through 21 years of my life without reading this book. I had always been a hopeless romantic, but I figured Pride and Prejudice...moreI don't know how I got through 21 years of my life without reading this book. I had always been a hopeless romantic, but I figured Pride and Prejudice would be a similar experience to my mind-numbing trek through Jane Eyre in high school English. I had wanted to read the book before the movie (starring Keira Knightely) came out, but I ended up forgetting my grand plans and leaving my book unopened on the shelf.
Once I finally got into the book, I couldn't believe that it had taken me so long to read it! I got completely caught up in the relationships, wondering how everything was going to finally work out. I finished the book hungry for more, and I now plan to get started with Emma. Jane Austen may not be a technically brilliant writer, but she sure does know how to draw out complicated relationships with humor and wit. (less)
Freshman year of high school, honors English. I was fourteen, and all I wanted was to eventually be granted entrance into the cognoscenti. More than a...moreFreshman year of high school, honors English. I was fourteen, and all I wanted was to eventually be granted entrance into the cognoscenti. More than a signed photograph of Mark Hoppus, more than a super-low rise pair of light-wash jeans, which is to say that I wanted it more than anything. There were pretty much three routes out of my one-horse town: a football scholarship, rehab, or an imprudent amount of student loans taken out at a decent university. Being not much of a linebacker, and having no access to meth, I set my sights on the latter option.
Things Fall Apart helped me realize that books would change my life. It transported me to a place that I never knew existed, and put me in the shoes of a people that never got even a perfunctory mention in my world history class. I was a pretty big fish in a claustrophobically small pond, and Things Fall Apart was one of the books that made me realize how little of the world I actually knew.
I was surprised by the extent to which Achebe made me check my assumptions. I was looking for a way out, while Okonkwo desperately tried to maintain his influence in a decreasingly insular society. Okonkwo's tribe fought to hold onto their traditions; I couldn't wait to shed mine.
Surely, the second coming was not at hand for me, but when you're a teenager the world revolves around your slightly-tilted narcissistic axis. At the time, this book spoke directory to me, and I couldn't be more grateful.(less)
The first lecture of my English 101 class was a life-changing experience for me. My professor started out by reading to us from the original Old Engli...moreThe first lecture of my English 101 class was a life-changing experience for me. My professor started out by reading to us from the original Old English text of Beowulf. The round, warm, Germanic sounds of the language resonated throughout the hall, and although I couldn't understand the words, I felt something of the work that I'd never felt before.
I've read numerous translations of Beowulf, but this is the first translation that truly captured the feeling of those Old English words. I won't go into the plot of the story, because I'll assume most of us have read the book before. All I need to say is that, if you haven't read this translation, it's worth reading. And, if you're like me, it will make you fall in love with Beowulf all over again.(less)