Friday, February 28, 2014

the end......

yes, I finished reading all those short classics that I challenged myself to read in February! in fact, I am almost finished with an additional book......that I am enjoying much more than I did some of THESE books!

The Stranger by Albert Camus - this guy was so detached from his own life it was depressing.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - while everyone sees this as a deep look into how society treats people who are different.......I kept wondering how the heck the dude was so accepting about being turned in to a bug and why he thought everyone was going to be so okay with it.

Silar Marner by George Eliot - this was a shocker! I truly didn't expect the story to be anything like it was and I LOVED IT!!! I wish I had saved it and read it last so I could end on an high note.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - it must have been a writing gimmic of the times, but I didn't like the manner in which the story was written. it was very confusing. the story was at least 20 pages in before the title character was introduced.

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe - Werther was an idiot. many people talk about what a great love story this was. no, it wasn't. it was the story of a spoiled brat who couldn't handle not getting what he wanted.

so now that is over and I can head back to my ever-increasing stack of books. I am almost finished with Hollow City (the follow up to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children). it is an equally mesmerizing and enjoyable book as the original! Ransom Riggs is one darn creative man!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

moving right along.....short story by short story

I really kinda question whether these are true "short stories." perhaps Huffington just meant they were on the short side?!?!? a couple have been over 200 pages. that is a lot to read in one day.

anyway........this long weekend went a long way in reading short stories!

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather - might be my favorite. a wonderful story of family, hope, and love.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - what a great writer! and what a twisted story! Stephen King has nothing on this guy!

War of the Worlds by HG Wells - totally ahead of his time. truly inventive thinking.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck - with him as the author, I knew it wasn't going to be an easy ending......and it wasn't.

as a random group, I think these four have been the best. each story was well written. none of them got crazy with alliteration. and all of them (with perhaps War of the Worlds as the exception) did a great job of developing the individual characters and making you care about them. I think WotW failed in that area, but I don't think that was his intent anyway. 

that leaves me with 5 to go. of those, I am still waiting on 2 of them from the library. I am first on the hold list but feel like I am running out of time for them to be turned in, sent to my library, with enough time for me to read them. I know I can purchase both of them for my Nook, but wouldn't it be a triumph if I could get through the month without having to purchase any of the books? keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

and the shortness continues! (short books.....quit saying I'm short!)

February.....the month of short jokes! since there is so little time to do anything this month, I am reading short books. now we are 15 days in to the month and I have read 12 books! good progress I think!

The Awakening by Kate Chopin - was slow, a little vague, but with a surprising ending. well, maybe not surprising. just odd for assumptions made about the time period it was written in?

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - this book would make a great comic opera! I think if people had spoken plain english to each other and used common sense, the whole thing book could have been avoided!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - other than bringing up Udolpho for the second book in a row (I went and looked it up finally), this book could have used some plain, direct language. I seem to have a completely different idea about the ending.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton - wow! dude has some crummy luck. that's all I am saying. you know how someone posts a "Downton Abbey if played out on Facebook"? I would love to see someone do that with this book!

have you tackled any of the books on the list?

Monday, February 10, 2014

more shorties & a BONUS read! lol!

yes, February is the month I am reading a bunch of Classic Short Books, courtesy of Huffington Post. well, let's start by saying some of these are a bit longer than I had anticipated. but I am still making good progress.

and like I previously did, here are my short reviews:

Passing by Nella Larsen - you know how things start popping up once you have been introduced to them? the concept of "passing" came up multiple times just after reading this book......which was well written, interesting, educational, and a tad bit startling. 

Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville - if nothing else, this books shows me what a blessed educational career I had. I never had to read this is in school! no wonder the other kids hated English class! dear me! this was wretched reading!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - sometimes it is difficult to read a story that you have read/seen so many different interpretations of. I spent most of my time trying to exclude those stories from my brain while I enjoyed the original. Shelley's version is so much better than all the souped up versions!

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I didn't find anything particularly different about this story than the other Sherlock stories I have read. it was odd to read it while hubby was watching the PBS show!

so now I am 10 days into the month with 8 stories down. I think that is a pretty good pace.......especially since I had to finish reading Unbroken in the middle there. THAT book was much more than I thought it would be. more about running (Huh.......I didn't know, really I didn't!), less about the war, and more about humanity than I expected. I wonder how they will frame the movie......there are a lot of options. I expect they will take the view I would least like them to take so I am glad I read the book!

13 books to go (since I have recently read A Christmas Carol and The Great Gatsby) and 18 days left in the month! how is your reading coming?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

short month update!

last week I told you I was going to spend February reading short stories. I figured I might as well give you some short updates of my progress along with some short reviews!

today is the 4th (or it was last night when I wrote this) and I have read 4 books! pretty good progress considering I spent most of Sunday either running or being Super Bowl involved.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - dear me! this one almost ended the entire thing. I got so under water with all the alliteration that I am not sure what the story was really about.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler - nothing short about this. it was a full length book! the period slang cracked me up. I could see becoming a Phillip Marlowe fan.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote - very much like the movie. I could hear Audrey Hepburn the whole time I was reading it. (not that that is a bad thing!)

Animal Farm by George Orwell - what is there to say about this book? so on point and so well written!

I believe Passing is next. the edition of The Metamorphosis I requested from the library showed up as a graphic novel. no thank you!