Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's Monday and I'm Reading...?!?!?!

Yes, I know, I changed my blog layout. I tend to do that a lot. You might have to get used to it... or not get used to it if you want to think about it that way... Either way, changing my blog layout does happen but the title never changes so you can always know you're at the right blog. ;)
Last week was crazy. Honestly. Things really don't go as expected... you've heard that said so many times but last week was definitely an illustration of that, not just with my reading but with the rest of my life.
On Tuesday my grandfather (not the one that I stayed with for a time) went to be with the Lord. It was kind of expected but still a shock. With that, we ended up traveling, quiet unplanned, to Minnesota for the funeral. It was a good time spent with family. It was really nice to see all of my cousins, aunts and uncles... which hadn't happened in a few years so was really nice.
With all of the car time, I actually got a lot of reading (audiobook and hardcopy) done. I even managed to exceed my goal for the month of five books to six books. :) Believe me, that doesn't happen often. So what all did I get done read last week? Read on and find out! :)

First off, I finished Tolkien's, The Children of Húrin. I enjoyed it a lot. It's somewhere in-between The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion in ease of reading and my liking for it. :) J.R.R. Tolkien had another masterpiece in it. The way he writes, the characters he creates, and the setting that he lays out are all so beautiful, mysterious and truly epic in the purest sense. If you can't enjoy Tolkien then I'm not sure we can be friends. ;) Okay we can be friends! At least try to enjoy his books though? Even just The Hobbit? I knew I could count on you! ;)
Goodreads Synopsis: Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien. There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Turin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

I read and started Agatha Christie's novel Curtain, which I picked up unplanned from the library last week as I realized I did not remember reading it (and I thought I had read all of Christie's books). It is the last of the Poirot novels so a sad goodbye. It is different in some ways from her other novels but still good. Since it is the last of the Poirot novels, I don't suggested reading it until you have finished all of the others (or at least a majority of them). After that though, I do recommend it. :)
Goodreads Synopsis: The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara , Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. So Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot's declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the ageing detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him?
The novel features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings in their final appearances in Christie's works. It is a country house novel, with all the characters and the murder set in one house. Not only does the novel return the characters to the setting of her first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it reunites Poirot and Hastings, who last appeared together in Dumb Witness in 1937.
I listened to The Comedy of Errors on the road trip and found it absolutely hilarious. I knew the main plot line having read a children's version years ago but hearing the actual version was great! :) It now ranks as one of my favorite Shakespeares. My recommendation when it comes to Shakespeare is if you want to read it is listen to an audiobook version. The best option is to watch it but audiobook is second best. Plays are meant to be watched, not to be read. In my opinion, people find it hard to read and understand Shakespeare because they are going about it the wrong way. I've read Shakespeare before and I found it to be very tedious and not nearly as enjoyable as when I listen to it or watch a film version. :)
Wikipedia Synopsis: The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

On the road trip I also started listening to the audiobook of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. I've been wanting to read this since watching the mini series (which I recommend) so I'm excited to finally be starting it. So far I'm enjoying it immensely. :)
Goodreads Synopsis: When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fuses individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale creates one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

With a nursing exam this week, I doubt I'll have time for much reading/listening but that's what I said last week and somehow my list above attests to the fact that it didn't happen. :) We'll see. :) I do hope this week to write book reviews for those books that I need too do so yet. Once I finish up my test on Wednesday, that will be my next project. :)
Have a great week of reading and fun! :)
Linking up with Sheila at Book Journey.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

17 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I finally read North and South a couple of years ago and enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. If you haven't seen the miniseries I do recommend it. :)

      Delete
  2. Condolences on the loss of your grandfather, Lois. Glad for the family support and time together..
    car time for audios on road trips makes the miles fly for me - great you had some along !
    A huge Agatha fan here - enjoy many of them on audios via your library's online audiobooks loan program - a great find!
    HapPy reading week [and nursing classes] !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. :)
      I love Christie's books

      Delete
  3. My condolences on your grandfather. I don't think one is ever truly ready for that. The Children of Hurin certainly sounds interesting, going back to the First Age- I read The Silmarillion years ago, and while I didn't find it as compelling as The Lord of the Rings, it's always amazing to me how complete and developed his history of that world was. Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. :) The Silmarillion is definitely harder to read but as you says the history is so fascinating. :)

      Delete
  4. Sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather, it's always bittersweet spending time with extended family due to a funeral. I enjoyed the North & South mini series but haven't read the book. All the best for your nursing exam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Have fun with your reading this week. :)!

      Delete
  5. Ah, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It's good that you and your family were together to support each other.
    Good luck with your upcoming exam. And happy reading for this week.
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. You certainly read/listened to an interesting variety this past week. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. Funerals are so bitter sweet - saying goodbye to loved ones and catching up with those we haven't seen for awhile.
    The Tolkien looks good - may have to hunt it down. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I will always recommend Tolkien. :)

      Delete
  8. My condolences for your grandfather. It's good that you were able to see a lot of your extended family again for the funeral.

    My class didn't assign me Children of Hurin, but the professor referenced Turin and Nienor. I plan to read it sometime, probably after I graduate. Thanks for giving a reference in terms of enjoyment, haha. It took me a very long time to finish the Silmarillion, but it was all worth it once I started reading LOTR again. So many things made more sense after reading The Silmarillion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. If you can read the Silmarillion then you can read Húrin. :) I would recommend it to all Tolkien fans. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  9. I do want to read North and South--It has been on my TBR forever. I've read the Silmarillion but none of Tolkien's other works. I just purchased his work on King Arthur. I hope to get to it soon.

    ReplyDelete

I allow anyone to comment but be aware that I reserve the right to delete your comment if I find it inappropriate. Please do not make me have to exercise that right. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...