Another one of my all-time favorites. I don't know how I stumbled on this book, but its worth the 955 pages (yeah really!).
What I liked best about thAnother one of my all-time favorites. I don't know how I stumbled on this book, but its worth the 955 pages (yeah really!).
What I liked best about this book is the exploration of the main characters alienation. He is neither British nor Indian, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, he's everything and nothing all at once. Actually I might recommend this book if you liked Life of Pi. Although I would say that this is a much more thorough and interesting tale.
The novel takes place in India in the late 1880s, during a series of battles between Afghanistan and India and other various battles for the East India Company.
Ashton (also called Ashok) is born to an English professor and a British mother in India. However his parents die of cholera when he is a baby and he is raised Hindu by a woman named Sita. Ashok lives a life in poverty as an attendant for a noble family and also becomes very close to the games keeper who is Muslim and learns their traditions as well.
It's only when he is 13 or 14 that he learns that he is English and not Indian. He's sent to British boarding school and finds himself totally alienated. When he is 18 he joins the Corps of Guides and returns to India. Lots of battles and love affairs follow. This is a great book if you like detailed family sagas and historical novels, since I believe the book is couched in actual events. ...more
Humor me on this one. I read the first five of this 11-part series as a kid and never knew that another six books were written (in the 60s). I recentlHumor me on this one. I read the first five of this 11-part series as a kid and never knew that another six books were written (in the 60s). I recently bought five of the books and I've been poking around the internet for over a year to find this one for less than 100 bucks (unbelievable). Finally. I found this on Abe and ordered away. Its so satisfying to read the last one in the series! Definitely for ballet-lovers only, but Estoril does a nice job of painting a picture of the jealousy and cattiness that is (unfortunately) a part of the ballet world. She also shows the joy....more
Les Miserables deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries. It really was a thing of beauty. To me, this book explored whatLes Miserables deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries. It really was a thing of beauty. To me, this book explored what it means to love in all its different forms. Highly recommend. ...more
This is the first of my favorite trilogy from adolescence. The same author as Anne of Green Gables wrote this series. I prefer the Emily books. EmilyThis is the first of my favorite trilogy from adolescence. The same author as Anne of Green Gables wrote this series. I prefer the Emily books. Emily is an orphan who grows up with grouchy distant relatives. She dreams of becoming an author and gradually falls in love with her dear friend Teddy; in the third book he becomes an illustrator. The main character is odd and dreamy, with a stubborn streak and a sense of whimsy. She has adventures with the crotchety types that seem to be abundant in Canada, and gets into trouble with the locals whenever a story seems too vivid to be pure fiction.
From Wikipedia: Similar to her earlier and more famous Anne of Green Gables series, the Emily novels depicted life through the eyes of a young orphan girl, Emily Starr who is raised by her relatives after her father dies of consumption. The series was less romanticized and more realistic than the Anne novels. Montgomery considered Emily to be a character much closer to her own personality than Anne, and some of the events which occur in the Emily series happened to Montgomery herself in real life. Emily is described as having black hair, pale skin, and a unique "slow" smile.
Emily Starr is sent to live at New Moon Farm on Prince Edward Island with her aunts Elizabeth and Laura Murray. She makes friends with Ilse Burnley, Teddy Kent, and Perry Miller, the hired boy, who Aunt Elizabeth looks down upon because he was born in 'Stovepipe Town', a poorer district. Each of the children have special gifts. Emily was born to be a writer, Teddy is a gifted artist, Ilse is a talented elocutionist, and Perry has the makings of a great politician. They also each have a few problems with their families. Emily has a hard time getting along with Aunt Elizabeth, who doesn't understand her need to write. Ilse's father, Dr. Burnley, ignores Ilse most of the time because because of a dreadful secret concerning Ilse's mother. Teddy's mother is jealous of her son's talents and friends, fearing that his love for them will eclipse his love for her. As a result, she hates Emily, Teddy's drawings, and even his pets. Perry isn't as well off as the other three, so his Aunt Tom once tries to make Emily promise to marry Perry when they grow up, threatening that unless Emily does so, she won't pay for Perry's schooling.
Other unforgettable characters are Dean "Jarback" Priest, a quiet, mysterious cynic who wants something he fears is ever unattainable, fiery Mr Carpenter, the crusty old schoolteacher who is Emily's mentor and honest critic when it comes to evaluating her stories and poems, "simple" Cousin Jimmy, who recites his poetry when the spirit moves him, and strict, suspicious Aunt Ruth who yet proves to be an unexpected ally in times of trouble. ...more
This book is incredible. It is the TRUE story of a prison break from a penal colony in French Guiana which was later made into a movie with Steve McQuThis book is incredible. It is the TRUE story of a prison break from a penal colony in French Guiana which was later made into a movie with Steve McQueen--another of my favorites. If you liked Shawshank, you'll love Papillon.
Henri Charrier, called Papillon for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 for a murder he did not convict and was shipped off to French Guiana. It takes years and several failed attempts for Papillion to escape in this nail-biting story of amazing courage.
The book has it all, sex (for a while Papillion has two Indian wives who are sisters), drugs and a little metaphorical rock and roll. I can't recommend it enough.
Charriere wrote his autobiography in 1968, twenty years after he escaped. ...more
This book arrived at my office for preview and I picked it up. I wasn't expecting much, but instead thoroughly enjoyed reading about the history of prThis book arrived at my office for preview and I picked it up. I wasn't expecting much, but instead thoroughly enjoyed reading about the history of pre-revolutionary France and a women who was incredibly modern for her time. She elaborated on Newton's theories and Voltaire had a hell of a time trying to keep up.
Voltaire was also pretty amazing, not only was he a renegage poet and playwright but he was also a savvy business men who bought and sold in order to fund his writing habit.
I also really liked Galileo's Daughter, which was similar thematically. ...more
I liked this one better than Secret Garden. I can still remember the story vividly. It was awesome how she would go to sleep and wake up and her roomI liked this one better than Secret Garden. I can still remember the story vividly. It was awesome how she would go to sleep and wake up and her room had been transformed. Just like magic.
However as an adult, the hints of Orientalism found in this book are somewhat disturbing.
At this time, Europe was obsessed with this exotic idea of the East, which included everything from Palestine to China. If you look at the ballet, music fashion and art from this period you will notice it too. Lots of turbans, whimsical sounds and rhythms, jewels and slaves. Its a little bit patronizing. The East is like a fairy tale land for Europe's pleasure and this story enforces that perception.
At the same time, damn good read. I must have read it 20 times as a kid. ...more