This book was ok. Some of it was interesting, some of it not so much. I think the problem was that it much of it was very American and so I hadn't hea...moreThis book was ok. Some of it was interesting, some of it not so much. I think the problem was that it much of it was very American and so I hadn't heard the 'popular-belief' side of the story! I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if I was living in the U.S. There were some interesting facts in there that most people would relate to, but there just wasn't enough to keep me interested. (less)
I don't know why I waited so long to read this. For some reason I thought that the fact that it's a classic would make it a 'difficult' read, as this...moreI don't know why I waited so long to read this. For some reason I thought that the fact that it's a classic would make it a 'difficult' read, as this has been my experience in the past. I wish I hadn't waited, because I adored this book.
I'm sure most people know the plot by now but for those that don't, it tells the story of Scout Finch and her brother Jem, who are growing up in the Deep South in the 1930s, in a time when black people are second class citizens. They learn the hard way just how harsh many people's attitudes are when their father, Atticus, is asked to defend a black man accused of raping a white girl.
I can see why this book has stood the test of time. It's still as powerful today as it was the day it was first published. The messages still hold strong and, although we've come a long way since the book was written, there are still lessons that society can learn from this story. I find it difficult to read about race issues, or in fact any kind of abuse/prejudice - it makes me very emotional and I find it very hard to comprehend where people get their ideas and motivations from. Because of this, I found this book to be a pretty emotional read, but I still ultimately enjoyed it.
I loved the characters in this book. Scout was very cute and funny and I loved that in some ways she was very grown up for her age, but in others she still had that childish naivete. I especially liked the relationship between her and Jem - it was how brother/sister relationships should be, they looked out for one-another and got into mischief together! I loved Atticus most of all. He was the perfect gentleman and, if I didn't have such a great Dad, I'd want him to be mine. I really liked his parenting style and the way he treated his children with respect and treated them as adults, rather than belittling them and trying to hide everything from them just because they were young. I really cared about these three characters, but I also connected with the peripheral characters and this is rare in a novel.
The plot, and the subplot about the reclusive Boo Radley, was intriguing, well paced and full of drama. There weren't any parts that I considered to be slow and I was torn between wanting to rush through to find out what happened and wanting to savour the writing. I kind of wish that it was required reading at school because although I enjoyed it plenty enough reading it on my own, I'd be interested to see what else I could gain from it by reading it with a teacher and discussing it as a class.
I can definitely see myself re-reading this again and again in the future. I need to go watch the movie now.(less)
This was only a short book but it certainly packed a punch. The second half made for quite difficult reading.
The book is a mixture of Chekhov's letter...moreThis was only a short book but it certainly packed a punch. The second half made for quite difficult reading.
The book is a mixture of Chekhov's letters to friends and family whilst travelling through Russia, and an account of the horrors of the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. The letters were the first half of the book and were quite jovial, however the account of Sakhalin was harrowing to read. Reading, in graphic detail, about how the convicts were treated there sent chills through me. (less)
I have wanted to read this since I read my first graphic novel - Watchmen - but for some reason I kept putting it off. I have no idea why as this book...moreI have wanted to read this since I read my first graphic novel - Watchmen - but for some reason I kept putting it off. I have no idea why as this book was brilliant.
The style is very basic - the drawings are child-like and are all in black and white. I actually think that this is a very effective way to tell this story. I knew nothing about Iran and it's history prior to reading this book and so it was interesting to be introduced to this through the eyes of a 10 year old child and then to be taken through it up until the author was 22. The images added a huge amount to the overall effect of the book.
I didn't expect to be so gripped by the story and the pages just kept on turning. I devoured this book and will definitely be reading more non-superhero based graphic novels.(less)
Wow, this was a long book. It took me 3 weeks to read. It's one that I've had on my to read list for a long time, but had always been daunted by its s...moreWow, this was a long book. It took me 3 weeks to read. It's one that I've had on my to read list for a long time, but had always been daunted by its size. I lost count of the number of times I'd picked it up in the book store but had put it down because I just wasn't sure that I was ready for a book that's almost 1000 pages long! Anyway, I was put out of my misery when I got it as my gift in our group's Secret Santa and so I finally got over my size-related anxiety and picked it up!
I've been fascinated by Ancient Egypt since we covered the topic at school when I was 8 or 9. I've some non-fiction books over the years and, as I said, this has been on my TBR list for a while. As soon as I started reading I was transported into the surroundings, sights and sounds of Ancient Egypt and the description was so vivid and detailed that I really felt like I was immersed in Egyptian life. Well, the life of the Royals anyway. Sometimes though, there was a little too much description and I wondered why the editor hadn't asked the author to trim it down a little.
Despite having to depict a whole lifetime in 957 pages, the plot was quite slow to develop. This gave more time for character development and as such the characters were very well built - obviously Cleopatra had to be, but the supporting characters were well explored too. I felt, though, that this meant that there were slow parts to the plot and, coupled with the overuse of description, this resulted in me skim-reading in places.
Looking past these flaws though, this was an entertaining read. I'm not sure how true-to-life the plot was as I only knew the basics about Cleopatra before reading this book, but there was definitely enough intrigue, mystery, death, love, lust and loathing in there to make me keep reading. (less)