Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Reading Log, June 2008

I almost feel like one of those faithful bloggers when I get my reading list posted on the first of the month. But we know better, don't we?

Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott -- (audiobook) (reread) It has been many years since I last read this book and I wasn't as impressed as I was the first time. If this were a modern book, it would be classified as "YA," although the teens in the book are referred to as "boys" and "girls," because "teenagers" hadn't been invented yet. The best part is the next-to-last chapter, in which the mother embarks on a new style of education for her children, which greatly resembles the style in which I homeschool my own children.

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
by Tadeusz Borowski -- I did already write about this one. If I ever run across a Polish version, I will be very tempted to reread it in the original language.

A Strange Disappearance by Anna Katharine Green--(audiobook) This was a mystery of sorts--not too great, not too bad. It's written in an older style which I find rather stilted and unnatural, but it was okay to listen to while I was crocheting. I'll have to share later why I needed so much crocheting time this month!

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (a reread)-- Someone (not to mention names, but my 14yo daughter knows who it was) left this book lying around, so of course I picked it up and (re)read the whole thing. Every time I read it, I get more and more perturbed with Jane Austen for not arranging things better. Suppose all Henry ever did was flirt a bit with Maria, and did not run off with her (a situation I find very out of character)? Edward would have asked Mary to marry him...and then what? I think Jane was tired of them all after this long book and punished them instead of making everything work out better.

A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin--a sort of vintage mystery/crime novel, first published in 1954. It won the Edgar Allen Poe award as best suspense novel of the year in the US way back when. Much of it is told from the perspective of the criminal, which is creepy, and you don't really know who he IS at first--great suspense, unexpected surprises, and horrific conclusion. If you like crime novels, you'd like this. I really object to crime novels from the criminal's perspective if the author tries to place you in sympathy with the criminal. I don't like having my emotions jerked around so that I hope they "get away with it." That's not the case here--you get inside the criminal's mind, but you don't LIKE him.

Howard's End, by E.M. Forster

--(audiobook) This was an amazing book and I'm glad I managed to blog about it earlier.

Summer by Edith Wharton -- I actually read this in May, but it doesn't seem to have made it to that list. Ooops. That means I read 11 books in May. This was a companion book to Ethan Frome, which was a winter story in a remote New England town, while this is a summer story (obviously) in a remote New England time, with a female protagonist this time.

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis -- I've been reading this one for a long, long time. Taking it so slowly, I had plenty of time to think about it, but I may have taken it *too* slowly, as I do feel the need now to reread it. Perhaps more quickly this time. If I get a chance this week, I hope to write a longer post on this one.

How did it happen, in a month in which I truly felt that I wasn't doing much reading, that I finished seven books? Now, true, some of them are audiobooks, but it still seems like quite a lot for a "low" month.


At 6:09 PM , Blogger Carla said...

K., I've read at least a couple of these — "Mansfield Park", of course, and "Summer" by Wharton. I guess I've always thought Fanny in M.P. to be rather tiresome and ridiculously timid, but perhaps timidity was more in fashion in those days. "Summer" surprised me. Wharton was from an era and a place where I wouldn't have thought she would develop such a story, but what do I know?

Still can't get on C'ville or another of my faves because the computer hasn't been fixed and Norton continues to make threatening accusations against those sites. Sigh.


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