Classic, Kids Books

The Jungle Book–Rudyard Kipling

We all know what The Jungle Book is about yes? Okay.

I really liked it, but I don’t know that I should’ve been reading it to my little cousin. There’s a lot of carnage in here. Like a lot.

It even had a drawing in there of a dead/dying animal.

It was not okay.

However, it was a good book, maybe more for kids 10 and up though. But only because of that drawing.

As always with jungle themed books, it made me want to run away and live there Swiss Family Robinson style.

If only a wolf would adopt me.

Definitely a decent classic to read for sure.

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Constant vigilance!

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Kids Books

George’s Marvellous Medicine–Roald Dahl

Sigh.

Here’s another interesting book by Roald Dahl. And wildly inappropriate for a kid. I have to keep reminding myself that these are not meant for Daryl’s age group (Being 3 years old.) . That they are meant for older kids. But I also don’t appreciate what this one was saying to that age group either.

This is about George. George’s grandmother is a bit of an intolerable shrew.

All this woman does is complain and treat people like garbage. She talks down to everyone, she yells at them, and is a complete and utter unappreciative …well…asshole.

So I don’t blame George for thinking that maybe the old hag could use something to make her more pleasant.

Thus he creates his ‘Marvellous Medicine’.

Which includes things from the kitchen, things from the barn, things from the bathroom. I’m talking perfume, horse pills, toilet bowl cleaner, various things from around the house.

Most of which aren’t safe for people to be ingesting.

Which is why I was like “Oh Hell no Roald Dahl. What are you telling kids here!!!” I could understand if it was like peppers or flowers or something that wouldn’t cause a person actual harm, but the list of things this guy included shouldn’t be anywhere near an old persons stomach. Let alone a kids hands.

It was supposed to be magical, but I just found it disturbing.

This guy. *Shakes head*

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Classic, Modern Classic

Girl With A Pearl Earring–Tracy Chevalier

I love her. Love, love, love Tracy Chevalier and her writing. I read Burning Bright a million years ago and I fell in love. Then I read Remarkable Creatures, and still, love. And now Girl with a Pearl Earring, admittedly I was a little worried since Scarlet Johansson played Griet in the movie, but this book was so beautiful.

            I always love books that have a little history mixed in and you can look at paintings and read stories about the characters in historical sites and things like that. This actually got me in interested in Vermeer and his work and I loved that Tracy worked it all in so nicely and had a little story for most of his paintings. Not to mention I really enjoyed this character and where the story went.

            Such a beautiful piece of art this book is and I’m so happy that I wasn’t disappointed with it. I can’t wait to read more of her books, I was over the moon about this one.

      Definitely read it if you haven’t already. Enlightens you.

Classic, History, Love Story

Monday Morning

After a weekend of trying to be handy and helpful (ie. Helping with Christmas-type things.) and failing because I’m a selfish person who likes her time alone and finds everything grating after doing it for more than a half hour in any store, I turned to reading as my solace.

If you have me on your Good Reads (or if you’ve been diligently counting as we’ve gone along here.) then you will know that I’m on my 75th book this year. (A nod to Charlaine Harris in particular for having so many interesting books for me to read.)

I thought that for my last book of the year, because I will inevitably get busier with the holidays and the sheer amount of family that I have, I would pick a big one and a classic. Also, a book that I borrowed from someone else so that before I move I can give it back so I’m not a thief.

This also led me to a surprise on my bookshelf: That I had already thought of this months ago when I was trying to reorganize things so that I was reading heavy books instead of the light ones for the move.

Thus bringing me to the mammoth: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Borrowed from my sister: check. Heavy as all hell: check. (838 pages.) Classic: Check.

This book is brutal! I generally love books like this, Jane Austen, sign me up! But what in the hell is Tolstoy doing to me?! The first thing I notice about this book is that the print is small and the names are big. AND everyone goes by 18 different names. AND they are all princes. AND he goes on and on about things like farming for 20 pages.

Needless to say this book is killing me. It gave me a migraine on Sunday and I slept for three hours.

I figure the only way to get through this book is to make goals. The goals are thus:

1) Read at least 100 pages a day. (I mean, I do have a job and whatnot, so this is becoming a little far-fetched, but I think I can make it to at least 60 pages on an off day.)

2) Try not to die while reading this book. Ie. Eat, drink, sleep.

3)Take breaks. (This might help with the migraine and my sanity.)

4)Visit the outside world. Yes this goes with the take breaks and trying not to die, but I need to get out of the house into fresh air or this book will kill me.

5)Start drinking heavily while reading it. My liver won’t thank me, but at least this book will be funny.

And THAT kids, is how I plan on reading the driest classic I’ve ever come across.

300 pages in and it’s already sent me on a rant. Yikes. 500 more to go.

Constant vigilance.

Classic, Comedy, Love Story

As You Like It–William Shakespeare

Admittedly, I forgot about you guys this week. Everyone has been sick in the office and I’ve had a million things to do to get ready for Christmas! (Yeah, that’s already started.)

But even so, I finally remembered! Friday isn’t so bad right?

Anywho:

I’m not 100% that there was a real plot here.

I understood where this story was going, hidden identities and trysts in the woods.

What I do not understand is why this guy, I think it was Orlando, was letting some creeper guy talk to him like he was Rosaline (it was Rosaline in disguise). But, and I’m guessing he did know that it was her, that no man would talk all lovey dovey to some guy he just met about a girl he thinks he’s in love with from meeting once.

Maybe I’m getting cynical.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this. I just love Shakespeare in general and I always learn something new about the English language from him, for example:

This is the first work in history where the word ‘Holla’ is used as a greeting. That’s right. Shakespeare is the original gangster. Hahaha I love it.

I did enjoy this. How could you not?

What’s your favourite Shakespeare?

Classic, True Story

Angela’s Ashes–Frank McCourt

Whomp whomp.

What a downer of a book.

Hahahaha, before you get all in my face about it and the obviousness of that statement, let me just say, I DID enjoy reading this book. The writing was fantastic, the retelling of his life was done very well especially since most of the stories were from his childhood and it was just a beautiful book.

I’m not sure that I can say that I enjoyed it, actually, because that seems a little crass since his life was so sad. But it was well worth the wait (of about a hundred years on my book shelf) and I think I appreciate my life a lot more.

Just be prepared to be depressed because it was a terrible time in history and this family barely survived. (Most of them didn’t.)

*Salutes Frank McCourt for his tenacity and character*

 

Classic, romance novels

Emma–Jane Austen

Oiy. Vay.

‘Emma’ is a classic, as all of Janes books are, but for some reason I could not really get into this one. It’s about a young girl of about 21 who thinks she is a great matchmaker and continually tries to set up her friend Harriet Smith with the bachelors of her town. She steers Harriet away from her original love, Robert Martin, and tries to set her up with Mr. Elton, Mr. Churchill and then finally finds out that Harriet thinks she is in love with Mr. Knightley. (Harriet is around 18 I think, and Mr. Knightley is about 37.)

I did like this book for the most part, but Jane Austen goes a little nuts with the crazy annoying characters in here. Mrs. Elton I wanted to slap in the face, and Miss Bates, I admit, I eventually started skipping what she was saying all together because it started being jibberish.

Knightley is a total babe though, so I recommend this, the last 50 pages make it worth it.