Texts From Jane Eyre: the re-imagined conversations between literary characters if they all carried a smartphone. Sounds hilarious, but I admittedly dTexts From Jane Eyre: the re-imagined conversations between literary characters if they all carried a smartphone. Sounds hilarious, but I admittedly didn’t have much interest in this initially because I feared far too much of this would go right over my head considering I’m quite ignorant of the vast majority of “classics”. I listened to a 60 second clip of this audiobook though and I was already cracking up so I decided to give this one a shot regardless. Texts From Jane Eyre goes beyond just Jane Eyre, portraying the likes of Odysseys and Circe, Edgar Allan Poe, Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and even the broody Achilles who contemplates the possibility of going home and being a farmer.
As I mentioned, the majority of these stories did in fact go right over my head because like hell I’m attempting to read Atlas Shrugged. Or Moby Dick for that matter. I haven’t given up hope that I may actually conquer Gone with the Wind though. Despite my occasional confusion, the combined narration of Amy Landon and Zach Villa still managed to make this a vastly entertaining couple of hours (the audiobook is a mere 2h 22m long). The various different accents they implemented made this feel at times like a full cast narration. I downloaded the eBook as well in order to capture screen shots and I must say that while the passages were funny, having this read to you was an altogether different (and better) experience. A brief visit to sparknotes.com to get the gist of the classics did prove to be helpful if you wish to take the time to become quickly acquainted with the lesser known characters. As for the ones I did know that required no introduction, such as Sherlock, they were so hilariously and accurately depicted that I found myself rewinding and re-listening because I was often laughing too hard to hear the whole passage.
Face cocaine. lol Other favorites were Ron telling Hermione about the magic “credit cards” he signed up for (Harry Potter), Peeta’s frosting emergency (Hunger Games), and the hilarious harassment via texting from Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca).
Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and highly recommend the audio edition (listen to a clip here!). Mallory Ortberg successfully added a modern flair and humor to literature’s most treasured characters, bringing them to life once again and reminding us what made them memorable in the first place.
The Library at Mount Char is a most difficult book to explain. We’re introduced to various children who are all raised by Father, a sort of God-like fThe Library at Mount Char is a most difficult book to explain. We’re introduced to various children who are all raised by Father, a sort of God-like figure in their eyes, but not their actual father. He assigns each child a different subject, referred to as their catalog, to devote their life to studying. Their topics of study aren’t normal though, nothing as basic as English or Math. Instead they are topics such as the study of animals and being able to communicate with them (so much so that the individual became quite animalistic himself), another to the study of healing (however her abilities extend to being able to raise the dead), and another that is able to foretell the future (with the help of her ghost children whom she was required by Father to strangle in their cribs when they were 9 months of age). And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Oh, speaking of icebergs, there’s an actual iceberg in the story. He’s got legs. His name is Q-33 North. There’s also a sea tortoise named Diver Eye that is also a minister. And let’s not forget Nobununga who was Emperor of the Forests. He’s a tiger.
Yeah. Me either.
So when Father goes missing, everyone is at a loss as to what to do because he’s always been there to guide them in life. What follows is possibly the most unusual story I’ve ever read. But unusual, bizarre, peculiar, even outlandish — all words that still don’t even come close to describing just how weird this book really is. I’ve got to give the author kudos for an extremely inventive and creative story though even though I still can’t figure out whether I actually liked it or not.
I received this book free from First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
The Book Thief tells the tale of Liesel Meminger, a girl who loses one family only to gain another. HMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
The Book Thief tells the tale of Liesel Meminger, a girl who loses one family only to gain another. How she becomes dubbed The Book Thief. How she slowly gains an understanding of Germany and the Nazis and the wrongness of it all. How her family comes to hide a Jewish man, Max, in their basement despite all risks. And how Max transformed her life completely and defined her in a whole new light. It's a tale of sorrow and joy, of friendship and love, of bravery and acceptance.
'I witness the ones that are left behind, crumbled among the jigsaw puzzles of realization, despair, and surprise. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs.'
The Book Thief's use of Death as the narrator is not only thoroughly alluring in concept alone but it serves to utilizes dark humor to lighten the saddest of situations. Death is not the cold and emotionless specter you would expect him to be though. He's unintentionally humorous, and has a fascination for humans despite his awareness of his need to remain impartial. He seeks meaning in his work and becomes mesmerized by the interesting and courageous humans, Liesel being one of them.
"...to prove to myself that you, and your human existence, are worth it."
The symbolism is rife within these pages. Most importantly is Liesel and her book thieving. She remains blissfully naive of what is truly going on in the world until April 20, 1940 when a book burning was organized in the town square to celebrate Hitler's birthday. She discovers things that greatly impact her and change her outlook on what has happened in her life up till that point and swiftly regards Hitler as her enemy. She steals a book from the pyre to mark the occasion. The book thieving continued after that but it wasn't just a bad childish habit, it became a symbol for her resistance to the Nazi regime and specifically to Hitler and all he had done. Each book stolen became a symbol of hope for a better future in the post-Holocaust world.
I've only recently become drawn to stories of war, the majority of those I've read have been based around WWII, and The Book Thief is absolutely one of the very best. I loved that it was told from the point of view of a German sympathetic to the Jews which made it immediately different than any of the others I had read. Possessing richly drawn characters is what makes this story absolutely unforgettable. Liesel and Rudy, Hans and Rosa, and of course Max...their cumulative story will forever live on in my mind.
The Book Thief is an emotional tale regarding the power of words and how that power can be used for good or bad, depending on how you choose to use them....more
84, Charing Cross Road is a truly delightful true story of friendship retold through a seriesInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
84, Charing Cross Road is a truly delightful true story of friendship retold through a series of letters that were written between 1949 and 1968. The friendship between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel developed after Helene had sent a request for a specific list of books to Marks & Co. in London. From there, the correspondence continued over the years between the two but also between the other employees of Mark & Co. and even with Frank’s family who were grateful to Helene for her kindness as she would send them food packs when they were dealing with rations in London. Their friendship was quite touching and I enjoyed watching as their letters developed more personal touches over the years.
”You see how it is, Frankie, you’re the only soul alive who understands me.”
Helene was always planning a trip to England to visit the people she had written to for a great many years; however, life forever got in the way and the trip simply never occurred. I loved Helene’s sense of humor; she was quite amusing and incredibly charming. Reading the last page of the book made me sigh with longing... contemplating a different ending; one where Helene would actually make it over to England.
”If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.”...more
Just FYI, I did not actually finish this novel, however I still want to put in my two cents but I won't include a rating since I don't feel it fair toJust FYI, I did not actually finish this novel, however I still want to put in my two cents but I won't include a rating since I don't feel it fair to rate a book I didn't finish.
This started out as a heartbreaking yet uplifting novel about Nina surviving the grief after the death of her older sister who died of cancer. Nina and her sister shared a love of books and 3 years after her sister's death, when Nina turned 46 (the same age her sister was when she died) she decided to begin reading a book a day to get over her still ever-consuming grief.
What started as a lovely idea in my eyes turned into something that didn't seem fun in the least bit. She set to make a goal for reading a book a day but put so many requirements into making this happen that she took the fun out of reading entirely. She would only read a book that was an inch wide or thicker, she would get up early so that she could get a head start on reading, she would either make her husband cook on the weekends or order pizza so she would have more time to finish her daily book, plus she dedicated upwards of 2 hours to review her completed book.
I'm sorry, I love to read... absolutely love to read more than anything else. But putting so many requirements on my reading and making it a job to finish that same day so that you can be sure to start a new one tomorrow and 2 hours for a book review?? I've never spent 2 hours on a book review. Maybe that's why some of mine turn out crappy and half-assed, but whatever. I can understand this woman's goal of trying to overcome her grief, but this didn't seem the way to go about it for me....more