Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back In Time - January Books

Print:

Before I get into the actual books, I'd like to point out that all three of my print books attempted to go back in time through both literary style and actual setting.  It was pure coincidence as I just read what sounded good...but it does provide an interesting comparisson. 
  1. Jamrach's Menagerie, Carol Birch - Truly, it was not what I expected, but was absolutely beautiful and has really stuck with me.  Of the three, this book is the one that stylistically reads like a period/classic book.  In fact, in some ways it out-Dickens Dickens, which was fascinating.  I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that it's not for the faint of heart.  Parts of the book are absolutely devastating, but there is such beauty and hope in the end that it was worth it for me.
  2. The Woman In Black, Susan Hill - Made mistake of reading ending before going to bed.  Nightmares all night - even though I pretty much knew what was coming.  Sadly, this book was a stylistic mess.  One should not have to reread paragraphs in a ghost story multiple time to try to puzzle out what they mean.  Hill wanted to recreate a Victorian(ish) style...and she got lost in it.  Fortunately, her plot made up for it, and now I can't wait to see the movie!
  3. Death Comes To Pemberly, P.D. James - More fun than I thought it would be.  Brilliant, in fact!  I  have studiously avoided all send-ups of my beloved Jane Austin, but I heard so many wonderful things about this book that I thought I would give it a try.  I laughed out loud, quoted parts in my journal, and ultimately think Austin would have loved. 
Audio:
  1. Night, Elie Wiesel - Devastating. 
  2. Watership Down, Richard Adams - It's been at least 20 years since I read this one, and I had forgotten how much I loved it.  I also appreciate the fact that though anthropomorphised with personality, Adam's rabbits and creatures aren't allowed to do anything they couldn't actually do and follow their species' traits really well.
  3. The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy - Had never read.  5 min in wanted to scream because I remembered Hardy was the author of my all time most reviled book (Tess, if you want to know.  Hate it with a passion.)  HOWEVER, I really enjoyed it and found myself very emotionally invested.

2 comments:

quantumtea said...

I have a similar dislike for Tess of the D'Urbervilles, mostly wanting to shake Tess for being so passive, but Casterbridge was the first Hardy I loved. We were assigned it for an English Lit class in high school. Hardy's Wessex is based on England's Dorset where my in-laws live.

A Day That is Dessert said...

I recently gave up my podcasts, at least for now, and am on an audiobook kick. So nice! I find the tedium of laundry, the dishwasher, driving alone, etc has completely vanished. I tend to get a little bored with podcasts, my mind wanders, then I lose track of what's being discussed.