Books, The Classics Club

Book 425: A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet #3) – Madeleine L’Engle

L'Engle, Madeleine - A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet #3)It’s very fitting this is published on February 29. This book is all about time and leaping backward and forward in time. Four year’s isn’t a lot of time the older you get so they seem to happen much more frequently, but growing up four years was a LONG time to wait for something as exciting as an extra day of the year. Okay, on to the book.

I’m sure you’re all tired of me saying it, but I had to put it at the front this time because it’s really driving me crazy! After three books: the denouement needs to be longer! UGH! Invariably, L’Engle wraps up the entire story in less than ten pages with a bit of a and this and this and this type narrative. It’s not bad, it’s just frustrating. I want the details. I want to know why things happened. I want to know how they happened and not just the hints that she leaves. It’s a little too deus ex machina for me.

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Books

Book 400: The Dante Club – Matthew Pearl

Pearl, Matthew - The Dante ClubAnd another TBR bites the dust! This book has been hanging out on my bookshelves since December of 2012 when I picked it up at one of my favorite used bookstores, Edward McKay, back in NC. More importantly, it is the 26th book from my TBR shelves this year. How awesome is that? That’s more than 1/3 of all the books I’ve read this year and I am incredibly happy and proud of that number.

I don’t know why I put off reading The Dante Club for so long. Maybe it was in some sort of effort to actually read all of Dante’s Divine Comedy before I read it, but that obviously hasn’t happened. The other thing that has left me wondering since I finished it , and honestly since I started it, is I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I feel I should have.

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ARC, Books

Book 391: Dr. Mütter’s Marvels – Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe- Dr. Mutter's Marvels[To hear the episode of Come Read With Me where my friend Jess and I discuss this, click here.]

I’m a little torn on this book. At the same time that it reminded me of some fascinating books I’ve read over the past few years (Geraldine Brook’s March and William MacAskill’s Doing Good Better) I couldn’t help but compare it to Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. And unfortunately for Aptowicz, it wasn’t that great of a comparison. Don’t get me wrong, this was a very interesting read and I enjoyed the book. I’m sure this book had its own set of challenges in the research done, but I still can’t quite put my finger on why I wasn’t as much a fan of this.

At first I thought it was because Aptowicz was super young and this was her first book. Her writing style felt a bit like student-work, which she admits is when she got the idea and started writing originally, but I found out pretty quick I was wrong on this one. And it’s not her first book, but it is her first work of nonfiction. (Thanks Wikipedia.) Either way, I’m grateful to Avery, a Penguin Books imprint, for providing a copy.* And the best part is, if you’re interested in the book it’s just been released in paperback at the beginning of September! (AKA Yay for more affordability!; Publisher’s website.)

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30x30

30 x 30: #22 – Visit the Somerville Museum

2014 11-09 Somerville MuseumWell what I thought would be the twentieth didn’t happen, but I’m officially down to 10 items left. I have plans for most of them, but time is slowly getting away from me!

I walk by the Somerville Museum pretty frequently and I’ve very rarely seen it open.

Even today when they had an event the sign still read closed and I was like uh… I’m gutted I missed the event earlier this year when they had artwork from local high school students as I feel like I would really have enjoyed the opportunity to explore the building a bit more than I had today. But with that being said it was a neat old building and I’m glad I went to the talk even if I did start to nod off.

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Book Group, Books

Book 113: Dances with Wolves – Michael Blake

This is one of those few books recently that is not involved with a challenge, but I did read it for my Books into Movies book group. Overall I enjoyed the book, the film was so-so and I was incredibly disturbed/upset by the book group discussion.

As usual I won’t talk much about the plot or the characters, but I will give my reactions in three parts 1) the book, 2) the movie, and 3) my reactions to the book group discussion.

The Book
I was surprised I enjoyed the book as much as I did. I would not have gone out of my way to read it, but as usual, I’m glad I read it. It was beautifully written and I thought it captured the magnificence of the open plains and the west before expansion. The story itself was believable, but it was a bit of a stretch. Not knowing much about the time period or the people I can’t say for certain it could have happened or that similar things didn’t happen.

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2012 Challenges, Books, Quotes, The Classics Club

Book 105: Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Well I survived the slog. At points I honestly didn’t think I would get through the novel and really should have waited having just finished the five books of Martin’s epic saga, but I did and I didn’t. It took me nearly three weeks to read the novel (which, yes I know, isn’t a lot of time for some people – but it was never-ending for me), and they were three very long weeks.

Counting for the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge, the Tea and Books Reading Challenge and The Classics Club, I am definitely glad I read the novel (aside from the story of course) because it puts me that much closer to my yearly goals! Technically I’ve finished the Tea and Books reading challenge (my original goal was Earl Grey Aficionado, or six books) but I upgraded last month to the Sencha Connoisseur level which is eight books.

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Books

Book 86: March – Geraldine Brooks

A co-worker recommended March and prior to reading it I knew only that it detailed the mostly absent character of Mr. March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Having finished the novel I realize it is a superb piece of ‘fan-fiction’ and well deserving of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize.

Once I realized March received a Pulitzer (about half-way through the novel) I spoke with my co-worker and she also mentioned not knowing it was a Pulitzer when she started reading it, but once she finished she felt it was a perfect Pulitzer and I couldn’t agree more. I looked up what distinguishes a Pulitzer and Wikipedia (yes I used our friendly resource) states a Pulitzer Prize for fiction is awarded “for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.” And having just finished March, I believe perfect Pulitzer fits. I’m not referring to the writing itself, as who am I to judge, but instead to the story. Brooks wrote about a time and a place which is so uniquely American and about characters which for a long time were Americana embodied.

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