Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's Monday and I'm Reading: So much more!

Last Tuesday, praise the Lord, I finished my second semester of nursing school!!!! It was a struggle through the whole semester, which is why I was neglecting my blog so much as I was so busy and trying to prioritize my time. Thankfully though that is done and hopefully I can spend some more time in the blogging world and of course reading. :) So what have I been up to with reading? Actually a fair amount since school has ended. :)

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

During the last couple weeks I was reading Dickens' Hard Times and I finished it early Wednesday morning as a post-finals reward to myself. I enjoyed it a lot and I think it is a new favorite of Dickens for me. Apparently Goodreads doesn't have a synopsis and this is all Wikipedia has but actually I think it sums the novel up really well. 
Wikipedia synopsis: The novel follows a classical tripartite structure, and the titles of each book are related to Galatians 6:7, "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Book I is entitled "Sowing", Book II is entitled "Reaping", and the third is "Garnering."

The Rose and the Yew Tree by Mary Westcott

Last Wednesday I read this. It's been awhile since I've had the time to read a whole book in one day so that was a good feeling. :) I wrote a short review of this and others of Mary Westcott's (Agatha Christie's pseudonym) novels last week and here is a link to my review. This novel is interesting, sad and quite good. I would recommend it but be aware that it is not a mystery novel like Christie's other works but it is not, in my opinion a romance novel like the below synopsis from Goodreads would make you think. 
Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone expected Isabella Charteris, beautiful, sheltered and aristocratic, to marry her cousin Rupert when he came back from the War. It would have been such a suitable marriage. How strange then that John Gabriel, an ambitious and ruthless war hero, should appear in her life. For Isabella, the price of love would mean abandoning her dreams of home and happiness forever. For Gabriel, it would destroy his chance of a career and all his ambitions!

Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara

I started this last Thursday and I am loving it so far! I read Killer Angles when I was in high school and enjoyed it a lot, loving the different perspective it gave me on the War between the States. Gods and Generals so far promises to do the same. 
Goodread Synopsis: In a prequel of sorts to his father Michael Shaara's 1974 epic novel The Killer Angels, Jeff Shaara explores the lives of Generals Lee, Hancock, Jackson and Chamberlain as the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg approaches. 
Shaara captures the disillusionment of both Lee and Hancock early in their careers, Lee's conflict with loyalty, Jackson's overwhelming Christian ethic and Chamberlain's total lack of experience, while illustrating how each compensated for shortcomings and failures when put to the test. 
The perspectives of the four men, particularly concerning the battles at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, make vivid the realities of war.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I know, I know! I'm still listening to this. It's not from dislike of it I assure you. I am really enjoying it but it's been hard finding time to listen to it. I'm hoping it doesn't take me too much longer because I am eager to rematch the movie after the fresh perspective of reading (listening) to it. 
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.

So that's what I've been up to with my reading. I've been trying to take care of all of the books that I rashly checked out from the city library a few weeks ago. I've already renewed them twice and I can only do three renewals but thankfully Gods and Generals is the last of those so once I'm done with it, which I expect will be soon, I can get going on the long list of books I checked out from my schools' library before I left as well as a book I borrowed from a friend. The nice thing about the school library is that I can renew it's books indefinitely... especially as I work there. ;) Plus, there were some free book tables downstairs from the library the other day that I scrummaged through and got about ten books from, which made me happy! Some of them I haven't read but I was familiar with the titles so I grabbed them. I was able to get another copy of The Two Towers because you can never have too many copies of Tolkien's books. I was also able to get a copy of Life with Father, which I grew up with watching the movie of and have loved it for years. I'm eager to see if the book is as amazing as the movie. 
Books I got from the library
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (For the Classics Club)
  • Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens (For the Classics Club and TBR Challenge) 
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (For the Classics Club) 
  • Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (For the Classics Club)
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (For the Classics Club, nonfiction reading challenge, TBR Challenge)
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman (For the Classics Club, TBR Challenge)
Books I got free
  • Life with Father by Clarence Day
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 
  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper 
  • The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Book I've borrowed
  • The Book of Lost Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien 
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Book Journey, the blog I'm linking up with for this post. 

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  1. Nice book haul and all those lovely classics. Madame Bovary is on my TBR mountain ... one of these days. Have a great week and enjoy your extra reading time :)

  2. Wow, you really found some good books on those free tables. Our library tables usually don't have classics. I'm jealous! Enjoy your free time to read. That feeling of reading a whole book in one day just can't be beat. I'll be on summer break in three weeks, and I'm looking forward to it!

    1. Yes I was so shocked to get my hands on all of those books! Finish school strong! :)


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