Thursday, March 13, 2014

(Please, Dear Reader, Do Not Read This If You Ever Suffer From Book-Induced Boredom)

  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) ★★★★
  • The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)★★★
  • Paper Towns (John Green)★★★
  • Looking for Alaska (John Green)★
  • An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)★★
  • Great Spy Stories (Allen Dulles) ★★★★(4 1/2)
  • The Scent of Water (Elizabeth Goudge)★★★★★ (5 +)
  • Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe) ★★★★★
  • The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann David Wyss) ★★★★★
  • Island Magic (Elizabeth Goudge) ★★★★★
  • Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen) ★★★★
  • David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)★★★★★
  • Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) ★★★★★
  • Green Dolphin Street (Elizabeth Goudge)★★★★★
  • Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens) ★★★★ (4 1/2)
  • Hanna Coulter (Wendell Berry)★★★★★(5+)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)★★★★★ (5+)
  • Leap Day (Wendy Mass)★★
These are the books that I've read so far, in 2014. They can be rearranged, in my favorites, as...

  1. The Scent of Water (Elizabeth Goudge); Hanna Coulter (Wendell Berry); and Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  2. The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann David Wyss)
  3. David Copperfield (Charles Dickens); Great Expectation (Charles Dickens)
  4. Great Spy Stories (Allen Dulles)
  5. Island Magic (Elizabeth Goudge)
  6. Green Dolphin Street (Elizabeth Goudge
  7. Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
  8. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
  9. The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)
  10. Paper Towns (John Green)
(Okay, here I'm just prioritizing my least favorites)
   11. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
   12. Leap Day (Wendy Mass)
   13. Looking for Alaska

I've been reading a lot more, thanks to my (unfortunately) "hibernating" computer, and I've really enjoyed reading and writing down in my beautiful black leather notebook what I think of them. As I've read, the standard five star system has altered. When I started rating what I read, I was too generous with my four and five stars and so, as a result, I had to add halves and pluses etc. 

The Scent of Water I loved because the end (SPOILER WARNING!!!) did not come with the problems being resolved. Things didn't work out, but it was okay.  The people that loved each other didn't get married.  The lost child didn't get adopted.  The lonely wife was still not really loved her husband. But the ending pointed me heavenwards, because in heaven, everything would be resolved.  As I've mention, the people that loved each other didn't come to a physical union on earth, they were both tethered to other things.  But in heaven they could love each other and Jesus and everybody else too for all eternity.

Hanna Coulter reshaped my view of the reason an author writes a book in the first person. The protagonist, Hanna, is, in the book, writing a memoir and commentary on her life. Her life is vitally interesting, yet realistic to hear about.  Wisdom is scattered within the pages, and it was a fantastic read. 

Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I finished two days ago, was one of the first books that I completely and utterly could not put down.  I carried it wherever I went and read far too late into the night.  I loved it, and Uncle Tom, and Aunt Chloe, and it as a whole.  It was my Mom's favorite book of all time, and now it is one of mine.

Sorry, dear reader! Now you are probably bored.  Now let's get to the FUN bits. CRITICISM! 

Leap Day is a book that I finished about ten minuted ago.  I won't deny that it was very engaging and, as a result, I read it in a period of hours.  However, it talked with too much frequency, like every John Green book I've read, about things that I was NOT comfortable hearing about.  I read modern novels to try to get a different perspective on teenage life, and possibly to learn something, but I learned nothing and was very uncomfortable with Leap Day.

John Green's books as a whole make me uncomfortable.  For a while I was very interested in him from his CrashCourse youtube channel, but I started to observe things about him.  I noticed that he was barely contained, sometimes.  Like the way he talked about things, the very funny but borderline inappropriate jokes, and the blatantly inappropriate jokes that I tried to ignore.  His books were like that, but without borders.  Now, don't get me wrong.  John Green is, in my opinion, very smart, very funny, and very well read.  His books were some of the better written novels I've encountered,  but they were not appropriate.

The Fault in Our Stars was really interesting.  The heroine, a (beautiful, but didn't think she was beautiful, blah, blah, blah) girl named Hazel, is dying from lung cancer and has a few years (at best) to live.  She is depressed until she meets a "hunk" and falls in love.   This hunk, admittedly, is smart, and kind, and good, and (sometimes) childlike.  I really liked this book until  BAM! they share a bed for a night when mom is away. 

Paper Towns has various profanity and had some bad scenes and was mediocre. An Abundance of Katherines had some really bad scenes and swear words.  But Looking For Alaska took the prize.  There was drinking, smoking, swearing, and explicit scenes, (I've been told, there were times when I had to skip pages)

Please, don't get me wrong. I desperately wanted to love John Green's books, but I couldn't.  Aside from all the bad things, they were so devoid of hope.  John Green has once been a chaplain, and so presumably he had once been a Christian, but he is not now.  The endings are really only empty people with empty lives.

Wow! That wasn't a downer at all.  Fortunately for you, now sleeping reader, I remember what I was going to write about before I started blabbering on.  It was that we are going to Prague! Today! In about two or so hours! Possibly Less! 

For y'all that are concerned that we're cutting class, our school board has made that impossible.  You see, we didn't get spring break, and so we're kind of distributing those days and days of other holidays differently, so that our breaks are a little bit off.

How does Prague relate to books? Well, I though that I'd make a list of the books I'm bringing. I think I will do so. And so I will.
  • My Bible
  • My What the Bible is All About (Henrietta Mears)
  • Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall (Wendy Mass)  I know, I know.  Another Wendy Mass book in a six hour period. But my brain is tired. Now, hush!
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  • Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)
  • The Scarlet Letter (Nathanael Hawthorne)
Yikes! My Mom says an hour to departure! I will try to post picture on instagram!

No comments:

Post a Comment