Read for EN2003: Mediaeval and Renaissance Texts, 2010 - 2011
We had to read 'The Miller's Tale' and 'The Franklin's Tale' for our course. I have to ad...moreRead for EN2003: Mediaeval and Renaissance Texts, 2010 - 2011
We had to read 'The Miller's Tale' and 'The Franklin's Tale' for our course. I have to admit, I wasn't exactly impressed by the former, although it was interesting to learn about the background of fabliaux, and our Old English department put on a wonderful dramatisation of it! But not really my style of humour. 'The Franklin's Tale' was much more interesting, especially with all of the unanswered questions and comparisons to romantic literature that can be made. I did find them kind of difficult to read, but I found reading them in a Scottish accent helped. (Well, in my head, at least. Despite being born and raised in Scotland my accent is rather boring, but I've heard enough broad ones to imagine it in my head).(less)
I read various sections of this book when I was studying Advanced Higher History in high school. Our teacher wanted us to read the whole book, but I d...moreI read various sections of this book when I was studying Advanced Higher History in high school. Our teacher wanted us to read the whole book, but I definitely didn't get that far. However, the first few chapters were a good introduction to the Civil War, especially to someone like me who didn't know a lot about it. And the index was excellent if you wanted to look up very specific things (for example, you could find every page where Lincoln made any comment relating to slavery). It did take a while to read certain sections as they were sometimes quite wordy, but on the whole this was a very useful book.(less)
I thoroughly enjoined this ending to the series. I have to admit that I didn't - as usual with teen novels - like much of the romance and kissy-smushy...moreI thoroughly enjoined this ending to the series. I have to admit that I didn't - as usual with teen novels - like much of the romance and kissy-smushy scenes at the start of the novel, but as soon as they left Isle Esme the pace - and the plot - picked up, as did my interest. I enjoyed reading scenes from Jacob's point of view as he was an interesting and realistic character with a whole voice of his own, proving that Meyer's talents as a writer aren't limited. I whizzed through the last 300 pages all in one day as I suddenly became plugged into the story, making my rating rise from an 8 to a 9. Bella's character grew a lot when she became a vampire, and Renessme and the mystery surrounding her were very interestingly developed ideas. So despite my dislike of teenage romance novels, this was an excellent read. It also explains why I prefer the Bourne movies to Bridget Jones's Diary - clearly I'm more of an action girl at heart! I'm sad to see that the Twilight saga has come to an end - surprising, considering how much I thought I'd hate then - and I hope that one day, she'll return to write about some of the characters featured in these books. And if not, I have a feeling that the stories - particularly those in Breaking Dawn - will stay with me for a while. Yes, they're not written at the same standard as Shakespeare and sparkly vampires are a bit odd - but they're fun, original, full of unique and flawed characters, and they get our teenagers to read. So I'm not going to kick up a fuss because of strange ideas and badly worded metaphors. 9/10(less)
Read the first twenty-one sonnets for EN4341: Renaissance Sexualities: Rhetoric and the Body 1580-1660.
Shakespeare always ends up being a bit hit or...moreRead the first twenty-one sonnets for EN4341: Renaissance Sexualities: Rhetoric and the Body 1580-1660.
Shakespeare always ends up being a bit hit or miss for me. I've really enjoyed some of his plays, like Othello and Anthony and Cleopatra, but just not clicked with others, like King Lear and As You Like It. His sonnets are nice, and maybe I would have enjoyed them more if our tutor hadn't made us scrutinise them for gender references to determine whether Shakespeare was addressing a man or a woman in each of them. Perhaps it's just that the sonnets seem overdone by the time you're finishing an English Lit. degree (much like Burns feels overdone when you live in Scotland and hear the same poems repeated every Burns' Day). Either way, I probably prefer Shakespeare's plays, and I probably would have appreciated his poetry a little more if it weren't for the scrutiny they were forced under in my module this semester. And then there's also the fact that he obviously stole a lot from Erasmus in these first few poems, and I honestly found Erasmus's "In Praise of Marriage" a lot more interesting and compelling than the sonnets convincing a young man to marry. Maybe someday, when I'm not a student, I'll go back and read some more poems and actually end up loving them. We'll see. 3*(less)
Loved this so much, even more than her first novel! I actually felt like I was part of the story, and it lingered with me long after I put it down, ma...moreLoved this so much, even more than her first novel! I actually felt like I was part of the story, and it lingered with me long after I put it down, making me try to figure out all of the twists in the story. In a way, this story had both a happy and a sad ending, but it had an overall happier feel to it from "The House at Riverton." I also felt that the characters were more interesting and appealing - even Cassandra grew on me halfway through the novel. This is definitely a keeper for me, I just wish I didn't have a tatty ex-charity shop copy! Really looking forward to her third novel, especially as her writing seems to be getting even better with each book! 10/10(less)
I really need to read this over a long summer where I don't have to keep putting it down due to school work and other commitments. I did enjoy the fir...moreI really need to read this over a long summer where I don't have to keep putting it down due to school work and other commitments. I did enjoy the first section but I felt guilty having borrowed a library book for eight months and only actually read it for about three of them. (Even if it was from the school library and no one else was going to want to read it). I need to get my own copy so that I can read it at my own leisure. I suppose I could buy a copy and read it over my long summer, but I don't know whether I'd read it in Germany. Anyway, I'll try it again some day!(less)
I actually enjoyed this one more than the first book! I think this was because there was a lot more action and not as much romance. Unlike a lot of Tw...moreI actually enjoyed this one more than the first book! I think this was because there was a lot more action and not as much romance. Unlike a lot of Twilight fans, I prefer the bits about the actual vampires and werewolves to the romance between Bella and Edward. Bella still irritates me a little, but not as much as in New Moon, but I still don't see the appeal in Edward - he seems so emotionless and possessive. However, I don't see the appeal in Jacob either! He's quite immature, likely due to his age. But there was more than enough action and suspense in Eclipse to keep me interested, and I was never irritated for too long. I hope the next book has the same balance of vampire and werewolf action to soppy romance, but I'm not sure when I'll get around to reading it. I'm currently #15 in the queue at the library. Might have to wait until I get back from my holiday in August. 9/10(less)
Comments: * fascinating time period to read about * made me want to find out more about Japan at this time * perhaps req...moreRead while in Germany, June 2009.
Comments: * fascinating time period to read about * made me want to find out more about Japan at this time * perhaps requires a little bit of prior knowledge about the history of Japan * very realistic characters * interesting to read about Japan's attitude towards love at this time e.g. the main character not understanding her feelings and refering to her love towards a man as "obsession" * very well written although the language was quite simple and sometimes had a "fable" feel to it - although I didn't notice the simplicity once I got into the book
I love all historical fiction and this was no exception! 10/10(less)
This was a fascinating book, and I'm now very excited about reading Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love for my Reading the 1940s course...and will pro...moreThis was a fascinating book, and I'm now very excited about reading Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love for my Reading the 1940s course...and will probably checking out the other books by the Mitford girls from my university library. My only complaint would be that Pamela and Deborah felt a bit neglected, especially towards the end of the book. Maybe there just isn't much information about them, but it felt like they were pushed aside because they didn't lead such exciting lives. This was an incredibly fast read considering the 500+ pages, and although I put it down for a week or so as I was moving house, I jumped right back into it again this week. Very compelling writing, and the author managed to put across a very balanced view of the sisters, despite their varying commitments to Fascism and Communism, which could have forced some biographers to pick a side. Mary Lovell presented the girls with all of their flaws and positive attributes, without judging their political allegiances. This one gets 9/10 from me, I just wish we could have heard a bit more about Pam and Debo as I'm sure they also had interesting lives.(less)
The best way I can describe this book is as a good summer read. Although the 600+ pages might seem daunting, this is an easy read and I plowed through...moreThe best way I can describe this book is as a good summer read. Although the 600+ pages might seem daunting, this is an easy read and I plowed through it in three days. A great historical blockbuster that spans two generations of a family from the turn of the twentieth century until the end of WWII, this is perfect is you like romance, family sagas or historical settings. I'll admit that Lennox didn't exactly delve deep into the emotions of the characters - difficult with such a large cast - and I didn't always feel terribly connected to them, but she was fantastic at capturing the setting and the period. There was so much drama going on in this book, which made it difficult to put down, but I felt that it was quite sad in places. No one seemed to get what they wanted until near the end of the novel and there were so many broken and dysfunctional relationships - which I suppose is realistic for such families where marriages are made for social and financial reasons rather than love. All in all, a compelling, light summer read although nothing new or original. 7/10(less)
Excellent book, I ploughed through the 600+ pages in three days. I love novels with dual-time narratives, especially ones like this that involve "docu...moreExcellent book, I ploughed through the 600+ pages in three days. I love novels with dual-time narratives, especially ones like this that involve "documents" from the historical time period. All of the narratives combined to make an enthralling, authentic reading experience that I just couldn't believe wasn't real! I imagine that my fascination with polygamy and Mormonism probably added to my enjoyment of this story, but I imagine any fan of historical fiction would also love this book. 4.5*(less)
I think this is one of the best books I've read all year! Its 600 pages might seem daunting but it's actually a surprisingly quick read. I love all th...moreI think this is one of the best books I've read all year! Its 600 pages might seem daunting but it's actually a surprisingly quick read. I love all things historical so this was a fascinating book to me, and I also like secrets and twists (hence why I love Jodi Picoult). The story was quite sad in a way, but also very realistic, hence why I loved it so much. I can't wait to read her second novel, The Forgotten Garden. Definitely 10/10! (less)
I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought it would end up being a 8/10, but the ending pushed it up to a 9. I loved how it showed that you can red...moreI really, really enjoyed this book. I thought it would end up being a 8/10, but the ending pushed it up to a 9. I loved how it showed that you can rediscover who you are deep inside and invigorate your life without giving up your marriage or family. Yes, Elizabeth made mistakes in letting her family take over who she was and lost herself in the process, but she was able to reawaken herself without giving up her husband and daughters. My only real difficulty with this book was that Jack and Birdie didn't exactly have a "normal" family life, and while I'm sure many couples go through similar struggles, Jack's job and fame presented a lot of issues that other families wouldn't have to deal with. Plus, I'm really not a sports fan at all, and I found a lot of the aspects of his work to be pretty pretentious. His job alienated me a little. Otherwise, I thought that the book was a very realistic presentation of what can happen to a couple once their children have left home and they realise that they've forgotten why they got married in the first place. I didn't find this at all depressing, as one might expect since I'm getting married in five months. It didn't make me scared for what might come in twenty years time. Instead, it encouraged me to pursue my hobbies and talents and not let them get pushed aside. Even if my main dream in life is to be a wife and mother, children don't stay in the home forever and I wouldn't ever want to end up like Birdie, married for twenty-four years yet having no idea of who she is. And while I want to encourage my husband's own dreams and aspirations, I learned from Jack and Birdie that it's important to have a balance; Jack's dreams cost Elizabeth hers, and this isn't at all fair. As you can see, this book was very thought-provoking, even for someone who is in no way in a similar situation to Elizabeth. This was my first Kristin Hannah novel and I imagine that it'll stay with me for a while. I'll definitely be reading more of her novels. 9/10
On the narration for the audiobook: Amazing! The narrator managed to give each character distinct voices without being over-the-top about it, and I'm not sure how they managed it, but at certain parts of the recording the audio company had used affects to make it sound like someone was talking down a telephone line or shouting from a different room. It definitely brought the characters of this novel to life. Highly recommended.(less)
Not as good as Twilight, in my opinion. Bella whined about Edward a lot and it got irritating after a while, and when Edward finally did return he mad...moreNot as good as Twilight, in my opinion. Bella whined about Edward a lot and it got irritating after a while, and when Edward finally did return he made Jacob look quite childish and pathetic - it also made me wonder what the point in Jacob reappearing was (maybe I'll find out in the next book?). As in Twilight, a lot of the action happened at the end of the book, which made me think that New Moon was just a depressing rewrite of Twilight, with Jacob instead of Edward. Despite this, it was a compelling read and I didn't really want to put it down. There was less romance stuff in it, which I liked, as Bella being competely and utterly in love with Edward doesn't always seem 100% realistic. Although Edward wasn't around for most of the book, and was replaced by Jacob, and although Bella whined a lot for the first part of the book it was still worth a read. 7/10 as opposed to Twilight's 8/10. I want to get hold of a copy of Eclipse now, but I'm not paying £6.99 for it in Waterstones in case it has more whining and less action, like New Moon.(less)
This was my favourite book when I was fourteen but I don't enjoy it so much now. It took ages to get to the "happily ever after ending" and sometimes...moreThis was my favourite book when I was fourteen but I don't enjoy it so much now. It took ages to get to the "happily ever after ending" and sometimes I nearly lost my patience waiting for Alex and Rosie to get together. I also find that books written in letter format don't let you fully get to know the characters. Despite this, the book is rather sweet and a nice read, if you have the patience to wait several hundred pages for a happy ending!(less)