It's difficult to review this book because although I really love it and think it is full of wholesome goodness, I am not blind to its faults. Alcott...moreIt's difficult to review this book because although I really love it and think it is full of wholesome goodness, I am not blind to its faults. Alcott wrote from a different time, where stereotypes about gender, class, & nationality were givens and the book sometimes reflects that. I think, however, that the soul of the book is pure & good, and the offending stereotypes somewhat peripheral. It is not difficult with modern eyes to look past this flaw. More grating to me is the tendency of Alcott to spoil her plotline by narrating ahead of herself. Usually she does this to teach a lesson, which she can be quite didactic about. This too, can be passed over, like an annoying speed bump, because the core of the tale is so sweet and good. Though gender roles have changed and religion is not as prominent in most people's lives as it is in the March girls', the life lessons they learn are well worth learning and their stories are interesting & compelling. I’ve read this book multiple times since I was a young girl and with each reading, I’ve gotten something worthwhile from it. (less)
4|25|2008: The day I finally finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. Usually I read books very quickl...morewith Edward Abbey.
4|25|2008: The day I finally finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. Usually I read books very quickly and all at once. Most books don't take me longer than a few days to finish. I just love stories so much that I don't like to stop once I've started. Desert Solitaire, however, has taken me years to get through. I've started it half a dozen times, and every time I love it, but when I set it down I don't pick it back up again. Then in a month or two, I pick it up again starting over again, of course. I've read the first half of the book several times. Finally I realized I don't have to read the first half over again every time I set it down. So although this time there was a substantial gap between my reading the first part and reading the last, I finally read the entire thing.
I know that taking forever to get through it doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for the book. However, it is excellent. There is essentially no plot in the book, and so I never felt that compulsive urge to find out how things are going to go. Instead, the book is like sitting down outside your tent at night, with a seasoned outdoorsman, telling anecdotes & talking philosophy. Abbey is an excellent writer, who helped me envision the areas he wrote about. Throughout the book, I felt challenged to think about his philosophy on life, the wilderness, and everything and decide if I agreed or not. I've dog-eared about every third or fourth page, to go back to for quotes & to think about some more.
So, I guess, really I'm still not finshed with Desert Solitaire(less)
This book is a fun read, especially if you start with a light heart & at least some knowledge & love of Great Britain. Bryson picks apart Brit...moreThis book is a fun read, especially if you start with a light heart & at least some knowledge & love of Great Britain. Bryson picks apart Britain in a critical but amusing way. Although he is ever the critic his love for the country, people, & way of life still shines through. (less)