Book 585: Abridged Classics – John Atkinson

I’m going to keep this review super short, since every 1-2 pages represents a classic that is hundreds of pages long! Who am I to write a super wordy review of a hilarious take on so many classics?

Not only are the abridged classics hilarious, but the illustrations included with each are so incredibly perfect I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this. Atkinson covered all my favorites including Austen and the Brontës, and he covered many I’m less interested in (and/or openly despise) like Dickens, Faulkner, Kafka, and Proust.

Recommendation: READ IT. It takes maybe 10 minutes to breeze through the entire work. Each one is a little more humorous than others and some are as puzzling as the original works when you read them. Thanks Caro and Nick for the perfect present!


Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

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Book 408: The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) – Jasper Fforde

Fforde, Jasper - The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3)I think this series is just going to get better and better! Although book three took a lot longer to read that the first two, it was because of my own travels, being sick and once again sinking into the sandbox world of Minecraft, this time on PS4. Either way, it’s my first book of 2016 and what a great way to transition to a new year.

This book picks up right after Lost in a Good Book and takes place almost exclusively in the Book World! I loved learning even more about Jurisfiction, the Council of Genres, Text Grand Central and the internal politics of them all. I cannot wait to see where the series goes over the next few books. I think I’m going to finish out those I have left on my shelf, Something Rotten and First Among Sequels and then take a break from Thursday Next, but I will finish the series, it’s too good not to! I already want to check out Fforde’s other series, Nursery Crime, a companion Book World series which he sets up in this novel (see the last quote under additional quotes)!

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Book 407: Lost In A Good Book (Thursday Next #2) – Jasper Fforde

Fforde, Jasper - Lost In A Good Book (Thursday Next #2)This one, like The Eyre Affair, has been on my shelf for quite some time. I picked it up in July of last year, but I have no recollection of where, but that’s neither here, nor there. What really matters is that the series has DEFINITELY picked up and the only reason it took me a week to read it is because I flew 1,200+ miles (MA to NC to MA) and drove 900+ (All over NC).

I’m not sure if this will be my last read for 2015, but if it is I’m okay with that. I’m already planning to dive right into The Well of Lost Plots, but I’m not sure if I’ll want to go right into Something Rotten or if I should go ahead and read an advance copy of a book I have for January. I also really want to read a set of books I got for Christmas. I guess it’s a good thing I have too many choices right?

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Book 406: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) – Jasper Fforde

Fforde, Jasper - The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)I wanted to love this a lot more than I did, but that being said I did really enjoy it. I picked this one up back in May of last year at the bi-annual Friends of the Library book sale. I then almost immediately picked up Lost In A Good Book and even more recently (as in this past weekend), picked up the next three in the Thursday Next series: The Well of Lost PlotsSomething Rotten and First Among Sequels! Friends have told me that the series get betters and I’m clearly hoping that happens as I’ve bought through the fifth book in the series.

I think where I struggled with getting into this one was the world building. The world of Thursday Next is a fascinating place full of mystery, technology and a love of literature I would jump into in a heartbeat, war and all.

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2012 Challenges, Books, Quotes, The Classics Club

Book 134: Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

I want to like Dickens—I really do. The only problem is that I’m convinced if he had a better editor these books would have been BEYOND amazing. The same thing happened while reading Great Expectations to me while reading A Tale of Two Cities. There were probably 200(+) pages in the middle of the book that just felt waffly and I could’ve done without. The openings were both great, once I got used to the language, and the endings were PHENOMENAL!

Great Expectaions counts for both my Mount TBR Challenge (20/25) and The Classics Club (11/100)!

I don’t want to boil this down to a love story, because it is so much more, but we all know my responses generally focus on one theme that really strikes me and the love of Pip for Estella definitely overwhelmed everything else (with the exception of his learning to love Magwitch). But seriously, how can you not be bowled over by the following quote? Click here to continue reading

2012 Challenges, Books, The Classics Club

Book 131: A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

I knew very little about Charles Dickens going into reading A Tale of Two Cities. Seriously, the most I know I’ve got from either The Muppets version of A Christmas Carol or the Doctor Who episode from a few years ago. (Yay Gwen!) I am glad, however, that I’m reading two of Dickens’ greatest most well-known novels this year as it is his 200th birthday! What better year to read it than on such an occasion?

I picked up this version of the book almost exactly a year ago helping my sister move to New Hampshire for grad school, mentioned in my very first Lunchbreak Interlude! I really only picked it up because I’d never read Dickens, it was incredibly cheap and is staggeringly beautiful I think – both the black and the red are actually imprinted so the cover has texture; and the pages are uneven cut. This novel counts as part of my Mount TBR Challenge (book 19 of 25 – 76%) and The Classics Club (book 10 of 100 – 10%).

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