2/07/2012

What I'm Reading...


Basil and Josephine Stories - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    This was a series of short stories by the author of The Great Gatsby. I picked it up because I had enjoyed some of his other short story collections, specifically Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. The Basil stories are apparently stories about the author when he was young. I’m not sure who the Josephine stories are about. At first I was under the impression that the Josephine stories were about his wife, and that the two stories intersected at the end of the book. I’m not sure where that idea came from, maybe I misread the introduction? Anyway, the stories didn’t intersect in anything except theme.
    I halfway enjoyed the Basil stories, which were the main part of the collection. Basil had a really annoying personality, and he was a prig and a wimp. But it was interesting to see things from a Basil viewpoint for a while, especially since he represented the author. 
    But Josephine? Ugh, she was a horrid beastly creature. She was selfish and immoral, and all she thought about was men. In the course of five short stories she caused fifty different scandals, and “fell in love with” three hundred different men. Not quite, but close. In the end, she found her true love, but love didn’t mean anything to her, and she had nothing to give him. Yay, nice little moral. :-/ I was glad to be done with Josephine.

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
    Yellow Star is based on a true story about a Jewish girl who survived life in a Polish ghetto during World War II. It was very short and simple, but well-written. The writing style was slightly odd and abnormal, sort of resembling poetry. It reminded me of another book, Out of the Dust, which was written similarly. It also reminded me of Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli, which is one of my absolute favorite books about World War II.

Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle
    Many Waters is a book from the Wrinkle in Time Series. I would describe it as a science
fiction/time travel book, with odd bits of prehistoric and Biblical history thrown in. You can read my review on it here.

Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie
    Every once in a while I read an Agatha Christie mystery. The plots and characters of each mystery eventually blur in my mind, but they’re quite fascinating when I’m reading them. I was annoyed at this one, because (once again) it the murderer was the character I had failed to consider. I’m horrible at guessing murderers. :-/

Lady Catherine’s Necklace by Joan Aiken
    Lady Catherine’s Necklace belongs to a genre of Jane Austen sequels, and is a story about the haughty Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed it, but in the end it didn’t make as much sense as it should have. Not only that, I think the author transplanted some ideas and mannerisms into her heroines that were far too modern for Jane Austen characters. There were six characters (that I can think of) that came directly from Pride and Prejudice, including Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Anne de Bourgh, Colonel FitzWilliam, Mr. Collins and his wife (previously Charlotte Lucas), and her sister Maria Lucas. In the end I felt that, of all the characters, Mr. Collins and Charlotte (Lucas) Collins were the only characters that were entirely “true” to their personalities in Pride and Prejudice. For those wondering, no Mr. Darcy or Elisabeth (Bennet) Darcy appeared, although they were occasionally mentioned by the disgruntled Lady de Bourgh.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
    This book is simply huge. (870 pages) I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the previous books in the series. Harry was unhappy about everything for the whole entire book, and it got a little old. Dolores Umbridge drove me nuts, but I think that was the point, seeing as she was a sort of level two villain. Having said that, it was still worth reading 870 pages, and it gets at least four stars.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
    Alas, Babylon was published in 1959, and is both a “what might have happened” and a “what could happen” sort of book. In the story, Russia lets loose nuclear bombs and missiles, nearly wiping the United States off the face of the earth. Only small pockets of survivors are left, including the small town of Fort Repose, Florida. Alas, Babylon follows the citizens of Fort Repose in their struggle for survival, and particularly concerns Randy Bragg, his sister-in-law, her children, and their neighbors. Throughout the story, they have to make do without refrigeration, running water, or gasoline, and they fight highwaymen, thieves, and epidemics. By the end of the book I felt like I had actually lived in it. I was slightly dazed when I finished up, and I halfway wondered if we still had running water, electricity, and gasoline.

What I’m reading now......

The Magic Garden by Gene Stratton-Porter
    I’m not sure that I’m going to finish this. It’s what I call “horrid old-fashioned” vs. “lovely old-fashioned” If I do finish it, I might explain myself and write about the difference between horrid and lovely old-fashioned books. 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
    I’ve kind of been “currently reading” this book for a looong time. It seems like it could be good, but I just haven’t got far enough into it to gain enough momentum to finish.


The Great Omission by Steve Saint 
     The Great Omission is a book about missions by Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    Ah, I really want to read this. I’m putting it on my school schedule, and I’m going to read a chapter or two every day. I just read Chapter One a few hours ago. Did you know that David Copperfield was Dickens “favorite child”? I’m hoping I can get enough discipline and momentum to read it.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, thats alot of books!! I loved Alas, Babylon, and since I've already seen the really good David Copperfield I don't care to put effort into reading the book, hehe :) I always heard that David Copperfield was one of the most boring of Dickens characters, and after watching many movies I agree, specially since Pip wasn't at allxD I heard that Pip was most like Dickens himself.
    Anyway. I need to read Milkweed, and Yellow Star sounds very familiar.. I love WWII books:)

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  2. Hey now, that's what you said about Oliver Twist! (Don't you know it's better to read books instead of watching movies?!) *shakes finger*
    Haha, for all that, I must admit that I've only finished Great Expectations, and that was with the help of Mom, Sam, audio books, and having to check it off on my school schedule ;P
    I really do love Dickens characters, but apparently I don't have much stick-to-it-iveness to actually finish one on my own. :( *Fingers crossed* Maybe this time. =)

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