I hadn't read this book for ages and then I picked it up again this summer and realized why I love the writting of E.B. White. It doesn't matter the p...moreI hadn't read this book for ages and then I picked it up again this summer and realized why I love the writting of E.B. White. It doesn't matter the protagonist, you will always be able to feel their life. The lonliness of being the only pig in a barn, the fear of death, the desire that a friendship will work out, the joy of finding new life. The circle of care that we give for each other is so evident is the lives we are reading about.(less)
I read this on a recommendation and was pleasently to suprised on two fronts. I was suprised to learn that this won the Newbery Medal in 1958 and it w...moreI read this on a recommendation and was pleasently to suprised on two fronts. I was suprised to learn that this won the Newbery Medal in 1958 and it was well deserved. The writing is excellent and well-researched. The author had a love both for the topic and the people of Oklahoma and North Texas that he was writing. He is especially effective in the battle scenes and describing the after-effects on the soldiers. Don't get me wrong, it is not gorry or graphic, but it is effective and appropriate for older children. He is describing what was most likely PTSD that they didn't have a term to use when the book was written. But it's not all about the battles, but also about the every-day lives of the soldiers and what the main character, Jeff wants to become.(less)
Unlike most girls growing up in the United States, I did not read Little Women as a child and so do not have any fond memories of Jo and Meg and Beth...moreUnlike most girls growing up in the United States, I did not read Little Women as a child and so do not have any fond memories of Jo and Meg and Beth and Amy and Marmee. That might be my difficulty of reading it for the first time as an adult.
I found the writing style of Louisa May Alcott to whiney and showed her resentment to the issues that she was facing in her life. I would have thought that through Jo—the woman who represents all that Ms. Alcott wishes her life could have been—would have been less passive aggressive and more of a go-getter, but that was not to be. She proclaimed as some sort of young girls’ Victorian heroine; but of the four girls, I found her to be the most annoying and I actually have the most in common with her in my own life experiences. She needed to stop concentrating on her disappointments and manipulations of others around her and just learn to be happier. Although today we would probably figure out that she was depressed for a great deal of her life, but we can’t really discern that from Alcott’s writing.
The girls all seem to be some sort of shadows of what the ideals that Alcott thinks that her readers want to see, but their relationships with others (especially men) are never fully developed. Even their father that they espouse to adore remains aloof and they don’t ever directly speak to him in the book. The only time we truly see a range of feeling outside of the socially acceptable norms is the scene when John brings home an unexpected visitor for Meg on the worst possible day. That is my favorite part of the entire book as it captures a believable moment of Meg’s growth as a woman.
I really wanted to love Little Women so that I could see what growing up in Victorian New England was like, but if it really was anything like that—even idealized—I’m grateful I’m a woman from the 21st century.(less)
As a kid this book sparked my imagination and it continues to make me always want to enjoy summer peaches to help me escape the grayness of my every-d...moreAs a kid this book sparked my imagination and it continues to make me always want to enjoy summer peaches to help me escape the grayness of my every-day life. Plus, who wouldn't want to hang out with a dancing centipede?(less)