Believe it or not I read this book voluntarily, not as a requirement for a class. I decided I wanted to undertake reading the classics and would startBelieve it or not I read this book voluntarily, not as a requirement for a class. I decided I wanted to undertake reading the classics and would start with what is known to be the first real novel ever written (aside from romances). I love to read and can generally get through books in a few days. This book took me 4 months to get through and I had to force myself to finish it. I did not relate to the story at all, found the episodes repetitive and frustrating, and due to the story being written in old English, I found myself struggling not to fall asleep every time I tried to pick it up and read a few chapters. I am proud to say I have read it and display it in a prominant place on my bookshelves. However, I will never read it again either....more
I toyed back and forth between 3-4 stars for this one and in the end settled on 3. There were parts of this book that I did "really like", but overallI toyed back and forth between 3-4 stars for this one and in the end settled on 3. There were parts of this book that I did "really like", but overall I would have to say that I only "liked" it. The story is about is about a 35 year old man named Rob who has just been broken up with by his girlfriend of two years, and follows his journey of trying to get over her and get on with life. When I first started reading, I instantly liked it and was hooked right away. As the story wore on though, I began to find Rob a bit depressing and became anxious for the story to end. However, by the end I came back around to really liking it again. Throughout the book there were several lines that I loved and many that were so right on that I found myself laughing out loud. It's an interesting coming-of-age story written with great insight and wit. I do recommend it, as I think there are many who will like it more than I did, particularly guys and those interested in music and pop culture; and I think there's enough in here to entertain, even for those who find Rob a little difficult to relate to and a little sad....more
This book was a little confusing to me at the start (and actually sometimes throughout the story, but not as bad) and it took me a while to get into,This book was a little confusing to me at the start (and actually sometimes throughout the story, but not as bad) and it took me a while to get into, which I was surprised about b/c it is such a popular book and highly recommended by so many people. However, despite being a bit confusing, I stuck with it hoping it would begin to make more sense as I got into the story, and it did. In the end I would certainly say I was captivated by the story, and I am really excited to see the movie now; but I actually think I would enjoy this book a lot more the second time through if I ever decide to re-read it (doubtful). I think this is one of those stories that b/c it's so interwoven, you miss things that you don't know are important the first time through. That said, it's a fascinating concept - time travel. I like how Niffenegger didn't over romanticize the idea of time travel and how she added quite a lot of danger to it. However, the idea of knowing your spouse so well, and knowing from an early age who you're destined to be with is a neat idea. This is an interesting twist on a love story and in the end I was so captivated by the story that I forgave the many parts that confused me and/or I could have done without (i.e. excessive sex in graphic detail, lots of music and art name dropping, and a few other little things). I don't know that I actually recommend this to anyone though. Maybe see the movie and if you like it, then read the book; or just skip it and see the movie....more
You can definitely tell this was Austen's first book. Her writing style is much different from her other works and a bit more elementary. That said, IYou can definitely tell this was Austen's first book. Her writing style is much different from her other works and a bit more elementary. That said, I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing and I really enjoyed this story. I loved the mystery and suspense interwoven with the romance. It was also fun to watch Caroline grow as the story progressed. This was the easiest of Austen's novels to read and get into in my opinion and would be a good introduction to JA for those who haven't read her. For those who have, the comparison is interesting and fun. This isn't her best work by any means, but I definitely recommend it....more
I have such mixed emotions about this book, that I've been putting off my review; I just don't know what I think about it. I wanted to like it so muchI have such mixed emotions about this book, that I've been putting off my review; I just don't know what I think about it. I wanted to like it so much because it's such an acclaimed book. I can't even tell you the number of people that saw me reading it and said "that's my favorite book." It makes me feel like there's something that I missed b/c I would not call this my favorite book. There were parts that I LOVED but there were also parts that were very boring to me.
Jane has had a rough childhood, an orphan, living with a family that doesn't want her, she is abused and treated as a great burden. She finally convinces her aunt to send her away to school and her aunt sends her to the worst school she can find. While she is away at school, she is again subjected to poor living conditions and abuse, just of a different kind. She is starved and forced out in the freezing weather with barely enough clothes to keep warm in daily. Through out all this, Jane remains a hopeful and spirited girl who tries hard to please others and make meaningful connections and friendships.
As Jane grows up, she decides it's time to see another part of the country and to see if she can support herself. And we finally meet Mr Rochester. While I didn't mind the story of her growing up years, the ebbed and flowed for me. From almost the moment Jane and Mr Rochester met I was completely captivated by their banter and deep conversations. I loved how Jane handled him when they interacted, and I love watching their relationship grow and develop.
I don't want to say more about the story from here forward b/c I don't want to spoil it, but I do have to say that latter 1/4 of the book was borderline boring, and I couldn't wait for the story to get on with itself and finally end. It took forever to get there it seemed. I have no problem with the ending, and found it to be an interesting and fitting twist.
All in all, I do see why this is a great American Classic, and why it won so many awards. I am so glad I've finally read it, but I don't know if I will ever read it again either. I may opt for Austen instead.
On second thought, maybe I will read it again someday, and knowing the story, maybe I can appreciate the finer points and come to understand why so many love it so much. Maybe I was just too anxious for the end, to appreciate the middle details that did nothing but drive me crazy. ...more
I read this book in high school and remember really liking it. However, I can't remember the story at all, so I thought it was about time to re-read iI read this book in high school and remember really liking it. However, I can't remember the story at all, so I thought it was about time to re-read it. I picked up an audio copy at the library, read by Sissy Spacek, and so far it's fantastic. Sissy is great with her readings and the story is of course as captivating as I remembered it to be.
***So now that I'm done I thought I'd give a quick update. This book was every bit as good as I remember, and probably better now that I understand just a bit more about how the world works. I am strongly encouraging my daughter to read this book and soon! The audio version of this book was so good, I'm torn between making her read it, and allowing her to listen to it. I think listening is a bit like cheating at her age, but it added so much dimension to the story to have all the voices and correct pronunciation....more
When I picked this book up off the shelf, I had no idea it was an Oprah's Book Club book. I just liked the sound of the title and the look of the coveWhen I picked this book up off the shelf, I had no idea it was an Oprah's Book Club book. I just liked the sound of the title and the look of the cover. However, it didn't take me long to see why Oprah chose it for her bookclub and to be totally absorbed in the story and anxious to see what happened. Pearl Cleage is a wonderful story teller and she manages to take some pretty heavy topics, convey a message of hope, and still make you laugh along the way. This was an incredibly fast read for me and I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book for everyone because I think it gives important insight into the challenges many african-americans are facing today, and at least for me it gave me a glimpse into a life that I would never have imagined otherwise. The sad thing is, I think the challenges these characters face, are all too normal for too many african-americans and are all too easily overlooked by many in the more fortunate upper classes....more
This book gave me a really different perspective on how I have previously thought of Heaven. I love the idea of looking at your life with respect to hThis book gave me a really different perspective on how I have previously thought of Heaven. I love the idea of looking at your life with respect to how you (and your actions) affected others during your time on Earth. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a different outlook on Heaven (life after death) and how your life touches others - it's an easy read and relevant to just about everyone....more
This is another one that I read in school and wanted to re-read. It was a short read that took me just over an hour to finish and although I remembereThis is another one that I read in school and wanted to re-read. It was a short read that took me just over an hour to finish and although I remembered most of the storyline, I still found myself anxiously reading to the end. This is a beautiful story of caring for another person despite the challenges they may present in your life. It's a story about dreaming big and never giving up on that dream. It's the story of the lonely life as a ranch hand and the longing for connection with others and a piece of land that is all your own. I love how Steinbeck can make you feel so much for so many characters in just over 100 pages. You feel that so much has happened and you find yourself sympathizing with their plight and wishing better things for them. ...more
I did think this book was funny in parts, there were a few times that I found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of a situation (I loved tI did think this book was funny in parts, there were a few times that I found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of a situation (I loved the attempted arrest and car crash scenes). And I never ceased to be amazed at how everything Ignatious touched ended up in disaster. However, I'm not sure I agree with the reviews on the back cover stating how hilarious this book is. I realize it was meant to be a satire, but I guess the characters seemed so realistic to me that I mostly found this book sad. I think this was really well written regarding the character development and found I could clearly picture all the players in the story and understand their situation quite well. I also really liked how everything came together in the end, with the exception of what happens to Ignatius himself (I thought that should have ended differently).
The problem for me was Ignatius is not someone you want to picture or know very well. He is totally disgusting. There is nothing about him that is likeable at all and although I realize that is the point, it still made the story hard to read. I just couldn't stand to hear about any more destruction caused by him and his warped, self-righteous, sense of right and wrong, or about his valve and yellow sheets.
I am glad I read this book because it's so popular and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I do think Toole was a good writer and would have read more by him if he had written more. This just simply was not my style, Ignatius was too gross....more
Oh I loved this book! I can't believe it took me so long to finally get around to reading it. I was a bit intimidated by the size of it, but not onceOh I loved this book! I can't believe it took me so long to finally get around to reading it. I was a bit intimidated by the size of it, but not once did this book ever feel long once I got started. Gone with the Wind is one of those books that carries you along with it and once it's over you feel like you've lost a good friend. I feel like I learned so much about the South and times during the Civil War and yet not once did it feel like a history lesson. I don't even know what more to say about this book really. It was so good I'm at a bit of a loss for words.
Quotes I love from this book (Spoilers):
"All wars are sacred,to those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn’t make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and the fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is ’save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!’ Sometimes it’s ’down with Popery!’ and sometimes ‘Liberty!’ and sometimes ‘Cotton, Slavery and States’ Rights!" -Rhett Butler
"Dear Scarlett! You aren't helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless. God help the Yankees if they should get you." -Rhett Butler
"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." -Rhett Butler
"Child, it's a very bad thing for a woman to face the worst that can happen to her, because after she's faced the worst she can't ever really fear anything again. ....Scarlett, always save something to fear - even as you save something to love...." -Grandma Fontaine to Scarlett
"In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven't are winnowed out. At least, it has been interesting, if not comfortable, to witness a Gotterdammerung.
A dusk of the gods. Unfortunately, we Southerners did think we were gods." -Ashley to Scarlett
"Make up your mind to this. If you are different, you are isolated, not only from people of your own age but from those of your parents' generation and from your children's generation too. They'll never understand you and they'll be shocked no matter what you do. But your grandparents would probably be proud of you and say: 'Theres a chip off the old block,' and your grandchildren will sigh enviously and say: 'What an old rip Grandma must have been!' and they'll try to be like you." -Rhett to Scarlett
"I loved something I made up, something that's just as dead as Melly is. I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it. And when Ashley came riding along, so handsome, so different, I put that suit on him and made him wear it whether it fitted him or not. And I wouldn't see what he really was. I kept on loving the pretty clothes-and not him at all. " -Scarlett O'Hara
"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken - and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. " -Rhett Butler...more
This is definitely my least favorite of all the JA novels I have read. I think it's because I didn't like Emma all that much. I realize that her timesThis is definitely my least favorite of all the JA novels I have read. I think it's because I didn't like Emma all that much. I realize that her times allowed for much more class distinction and that in her station in life she was quite high, and thus in theory entitled to the level of snobbery and elevated opinion of herself that she held, and expected others to acknowledge. It still bothered me how very spoiled she was and how much un-checked mischief she got herself into for a grown woman. I think I didn't like this book because I would not have liked Emma in person. The only person more disagreeable than Emma was Mrs. Elton, and I found the comparisons funny because although Mrs. Elton's snobbery was blatant and somewhat over estimated for her "station", I still felt about Emma much the same way she felt about Mrs. Elton.
This is my second time reading Emma and although I don't remember it much from the first time, I also don't remember liking it. That should have been a sign to me, but I had hopes that my feelings might have changed. I don't think I would recommend this particular Austen novel to my friends unless they had a desire to read all of her works (which is the reason I undertook this second reading). Her others are better: more interesting characters with more diverse and interesting storylines in my opinion....more
I can't believe it has taken me this long to read this book. And no wonder it's a classic! There was so much about this book that moved me. The thingI can't believe it has taken me this long to read this book. And no wonder it's a classic! There was so much about this book that moved me. The thing I found most interesting is how, although slavery is ended, there are still many issues in this book that I believe are relevant today, but just for a different class of people. I feel like a lot of what I read in this book regarding how the people of the South justified slavery, and how people in general looked as black people as lower than them, is pretty similar to how gay people are being treated today. This is a great book, and I highly recommend it to all. This is an important part of our history, and one we need to make sure we don't forget about....more