Knit Happened

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Expectations, a Song, and a Muse

What do the above all have in common? Snippets from the titles of the books that I recently finished reading. And now here are the reviews:

Title: Great Expectations
Author: Charles Dickens
Rating: Interesting reading again later in life
Genre: Classic
Number of pages: 564
Finished: 1-27-08
Challenges: My Year of Reading Dangerously, Chunkster, Mini challenge #7, A to z Title (G), themed, Back to history, 101 Books in 1,001 Days

I have to confess that I kept putting off snapping the binding on this book because it started to feel like I had a college assignment that I truly didn't want to read. However, I am glad that I read Great Expectations. It was actually my second time through as I realized when I started reading...I discovered that this book was one of the classics that I read in between college and dental school when I was bound and determined to read as many of the classics as possible. I have to confess that it was definitely a different experience reading as a seasoned adult versus a naive 20 year old. Great Expectations follows the classic Dickensian plot of an orphan who comes of age and learns valuable life lessons along the way. Written in the first person by Pip, you are constantly coming in contact with characters that you love or hate with very little in between gray. There are definite high points in the the scenes with Miss Haversham and low points...did not enjoy the years when Pip is an apprentice with his brother-in-law Joe. Looking forward to tackling the discussion questions at My Year of Reading Dangerously.

Title: The Nixie's Song: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles
Author: Tony diTerlizzi and Holly Black
Rating: Disappointed
Genre: Children
Number of pages: 162
Finished: 1-27-08
Challenges: Mini challenge #2, A to Z Author (D), 101 Books in 1,001 Days

I'm always on the hunt for a book to get E excited about reading...he loves Harry Potter, Hatchett, and Old Yeller. He has never embraced reading for the joy of reading like mom and continues to view it as a chore. So after seeing the commercials for the upcoming Spiderwick movie I thought perhaps this is something that he might enjoy. When I put a hold on The Nixie's Song at the library I thought it was the first book but alas when I retrieved it, it was apparently book one in the second series and way out of the age range for something that E could read. But I read it anyway...and sorry I did. Trite and predictable and I think that if I read this when I was 7 years old I would have been turned off to reading. Here's the gist...Nick Vargas' dad has recently remarried and with the new wife comes a new sister for Nick and his brother Jules/Julian (authors constantly switch between the two names). Laurie is nerdy and fascinated by fairies. A fairy in the form of a nixie is discovered in the Vargas' backyard, the fairy is saved from the giant but at the end, the pair still need to find the nixie's missing sisters. If I had to read another children's book, I would re-read From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler. Loved that book growing up!

Title: The Muse Asylum
Author: David Czuchlewski
Rating: Enjoyed immensely!
Genre: Literary fiction
Number of pages: 225
Finished: 1-28-08
Challenges: A to Z Authors (C), 101 Books in 1,001 Days
After The Nixie's Song, I really needed to pick up and read something that would get the bad taste out of my mouth and I certainly did with The Muse Asylum. Recommended to me by Jill who knows my taste in books so well, I quickly immersed myself in the words of this first-time author who had been mentored by Joyce Carol Oates (although I personally don't care for her writing, I knew that the writing had to be top notch). The telling of the story alternates between journalist Jake Burnett and the writings of Andrew Wallace who just happens to be the resident of a psychiatric hospital. Both men's lives have been affected by a reclusive author by the name of Horace Jacob Little who no one has ever seen, nor has the author ever granted an interview. Both men also are in love with the same woman, Lara Knowles. The author takes you on a journey of discovery for both men that leaves the reader with a satisfying end to the tale...can't say too much more...just know that if you have enjoyed The Keep and most any Chuck Palahniuk book you will not be disappointed. Thanks Jill!

And now I am currently almost a 100 pages into the Pulitzer-prize winning The Road.

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  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger Jill said…

    YIPPEE! So glad you liked The Muse Asylum! He did a great job for a freshman effort!

    =) Jill

  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger Carrie K said…

    The Mixed Up Files of Mrs BEF was one of my favorite books as a kid. I think it's why I was always so fascinated in museums. Other than all the "stuff" in 'em, lol.

    I had that same kind of experience you had w/GE rereading Gone With The Wind. It's such a different book and meeting your young self in the pages is an added bonus.


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