Okay, it seems as if I have really lagged on my book reviews. I’ve finished my list, and when I went back to see which books I have assessed, I find that there are several of which I haven’t said a word.
What up with that?
And today is the first day of summer, so you know that I really need to write the post-reading review… I’m late as usual, but I’ll just write it later and have it sit in the 100ish area of the review lists. J
So, I’ve decided that I would give short synopses about them, not meaning to negate their worth by any means, but rather to find a way to encourage each and every one of you to pick up one of these books!
Seriously, nary a book I had in my hands were ones that I wanted to put down. I feel extremely blessed that all my selections were worth the moments it took to read them and had story lines that made the reading go all the faster.
The Bible – Luke, John and Acts: I repeat oft enough how much I have enjoyed sitting down to read the Bible as a book, from Genesis to Revelations. I catch more, I connect more, I understand more. When I was reading John, it was as if I had never read the words prior to now and new meanings and precepts floated in my mind and my heart. That is just one of the many reasons the Bible is called “the living word”! God can reveal new and wonderful concepts to the reader as the reader is capable of understanding them!
Sense and Sensibility: I love Jane Austen. Her characters are distinct, creative and captivating; her story lines are plausible, heart-wrenching and romantic. Underneath it all, there is a realness, an understandable connection with the conflicts with the heroine of the narrative and a sure and right ending to the oft lamentable situations. Austen has never left me down, has never failed to give me hope and has never disappointed me. Sense and Sensibility is no different. It is actually one of my favorite tales of Austen. (Though the movie with Emma Thompson is marvelous and faithful to Austen’s intentions, it missed out on many of the finer attributes and story lines due to a two-hour time constraint.)
Last of the Mohicans: What a revolutionary tale! It has all the elements to satisfy any sort of reader: suspense, history, mystery, drama and romance. It’s a tale of passion and a tale of woe, only in this book, the passion is reserved and appropriate and the woe is will require a tissue for clean up on aisle two. Never having seen the movie, I was unaware of the ending. It was a good ending, even if it left me wilted a bit.
My Antonia: I’ve picked this book up several times over the years, only to put it back on the shelf. For some reason, I equated a prairie story with dry and boring. Nothing could be further from the truth! The characters were authentic and full of life. The separate tales flowed and brought a sense of completion by the ending, and the narration was full of quips and descriptions that either made me laugh out loud or made me feel as if I were standing on the Nebraska plain in the tall grass or freezing my toes off in the dead of winter. Please select this quick read. You’ll be satisfied that you did.
The Moonstone: I’ve never read anything by Wilkie Collins. This selection was a last minute decision that left me wondering what kind of writer Collins would be. I had no idea that I was holding a true artist in my hand! (Well, I actually read it via www.dailylit.com. I highly recommend this venue if you’re waiting for a classic from the library!) Mystery, suspense, intrigue and romance course through the entire book. And the characters!!! Oh my. I wanted there to be a second book just so that I could enter these characters’ minds again. The style is simple as it flows from letters from characters about a certain situation. (Collins wrote it initially in a weekly publications; when published in book form it has the same format, “cont’ds” and all. If you’re looking for an easy way to step into the classics and you want a fun read, I highly recommend this book. (Though I must admit, I was very pleased that I had read Robinson Crusoe as my first book this time. One of the characters – Betteredge – believes fully in the sanctity and guidance of Robinson Crusoe. With every joy, trial, pain or bafflement, he knows that he will find what he needs in that book. Knowing that Robinson Crusoe is a character who so highly favored the providence and goodness of God, it is a roundabout, albeit odd, way to finding God’s direction for everything!)
Around the World in 80 Days: Now this story was a grand read! Once again Jules Verne took me on wild adventures, throwing in wit and humor to make the adventure all the more agreeable. Though far-fetching and highly “coincidental”, the tale was full and entertaining. The amazing part? That Verne wrote the true and detailed description with never setting a foot on another continent. That man had one truly terrific imagination!
Uncle Tom’s Cabin: If you only pick one book out of my suggestion to read, I would want it to be this one. Such a powerful story! It’s definitely one that I think every single Christian in the world should read. Told from an abolitionist’s point of view, the story follows several slave owners, non-slave owners and slaves, all in varying degrees of attitude and life, with colorful and differing experiences. I tell you this now: it is wrought with emotional yarns which will pull at your heart and bring all sorts of tears to your eyes. Joy, pain, happiness, sorrow, shame and anger weave their threads in this amazing piece of literature. I cannot tell you how many times I loathed to put the book down (I read it over my lunch hour) and I loathed to pick it up because I knew not where the story would lead next! It is not predictable, nor is it unoriginal. The beat that pulsed in the story from its first printing is just as strong now, even though slavery has been abolished and civil rights have been established and encouraged for decades. I cannot hold this book up high enough. I give it the highest compliment possible – I’ll own it in hardback one day.
I know this post is long, and God bless you if you make it thus far! Have you been inspired to read a classic? I hope so. If you’ve got any other recommendations – new or classic – I wouldn’t mind hearing about them now. My list is empty and I need to start it again. (You didn’t think that I would read only classics over this time, did you? Silly friends… I’ve only 4 books on my nightstand. I obviously need a few suggestions, so help a girl out if you can!)