Pride and Prejudice

I think i may have put this off long enough and the time has come for me to make an admission that I really don’t want to make.  For both the 1% Well-Read Challenge and the Classics Challenge I read Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.  I finished the book a few weeks ago already but haven’t really got to the point where I want to put my thoughts on this book on the web.

Alright, so I don’t think I need to provide you all with a synopsis of this most famous Austin tale.  I think I’m that last living soul that’s read the book.  I’m sure you all have a story you could tell about Austin and a connection to one of her books.  I have no such story, other than being the last person on the globe to read this book.

I’m glad I waited so long to read the book but truth be told I didn’t like it.  Okay, okay, put your stones down I bruise easily.  You’re more than welcome to hate the fact that I didn’t enjoy Pride and Prejudice but hear me out.  It wasn’t due to the writing it was the story itself.  The characters weren’t people I could connect with, they were elitists and, all though I can be a hopeless romantic, the idea of getting married to better your social status is dumbfounding at best or fall head over heals for someone you really don’t know baffles me.

Rather than going on and on about this because I’m sure many of you are gone already never to return after hearing this punk speaking poorly of Austen I’ll just end this post.  If you’ve made it this far would you mind explaining to me what it is you like so much about the book?  Or if you’re like me, and willing to be a book outcast, you could tell me that you don’t like the book too.

On to the next book.  And thanks for putting those stones and rotten food down!

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Booking Through Thursday #17 – Other Worlds

The questions posed this week are questions I’ve never really considered before and have therefore made me do some thinking back on books I’ve read and consider the books I enjoy reading.

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?

(This came to me when reviewing a Jonathan Carroll book – I’m not sure I’d like to live in the worlds of his books.)

The first two questions are the ones that have really caused me to think.  And I have to say that, and I do realize that this may sound a little creepy, I really like the fact that I don’t live in the world of the books that I read.  I really like the voyeuristic aspect of reading, peering into another’s life or another’s world.  But it’s more than and escape from my current reality, it’s a glimps into other possibilities.

With that being said I cannot think of a world that I’ve read about that I would want to live.  I enjoy the escape from the current reality but it’s not a world or “alternate reality” that I’d want to stay in.

The final question is one that was very interesting and made me think, if I could choose an author to write my current reality and know that justice was being done to my life I would have to say Douglas Coupland, a name that continually comes up on this blog.  His characters are all quirky and too often when I read his books I see bits of myself or friends looking back.  His books are a reflection of society as a while and I tend to see graces in characters that may not really deserve possession of such traits.

I’m really interested to see what others have said in responses to these question.  Happy Thursday!

Classics Challenge – The Trojan Women

In preparation to my viewing of The Trojan Women at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival later on this season I decided to read Euripides’ play The Trojan Women.  I must say that now I’ve read it I’m looking forward to the show even more than I did before.  With the Stratford production staring Martha Henry in the lead role (Hecuba) how could I not be excited to watch it?

This drama by Euripides deals with the aftermath of the Trojan War, only the women are left to grieve the loss of all the men of the city.  While having to experience the loss of the men they are forced to await their fate in the camp outside the city walls.  Hecuba leads the women in this after war struggle as the former queen of the Troy.  It’s interesting to see how the different women deal with their lost but perhaps the most heart wrenching part of the story is that of Andromache who’s son is the only male survivor of the war but is literally ripped from her hands to be killed.  That story doesn’t end there because her son, Astyanax, is brought back to the women to dispose of the body (not to sound harsh).

I love theatre and truly enjoy reading plays but not as much as I enjoy watching a live production.  I haven’t read anything by the Greek’s yet but I’m glad I read this one.  Now I’m so thrilled to see the production at the Tom Patterson Theatre which runs in repertory until October 5.  Once I’ve seen it you’ll be sure to see a review of the production here.

This is the second book I read for this challenge.

Booking Through Thursday #16 – Endings

Before I’m told I’m well aware that it’s not Thursday but I wanted to still answer the question posed for last week’s Booking Through Thursday, as it’s sort of a continuation from the previous post.  So, without further waiting here it is:

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

I didn’t say this in the last post but I typically don’t really remember specifics about a book after I’ve read it.  I tend to look at the over arching themes and ideas of a story making difficult to answer such questions as this and the previous weeks question.  But periodically there are some specifics that do stand out.

I don’t remember the final sentence of the book but I do distinctly being moved by the final of Ragtime (I know I tend to talk about this book a lot but it’s an amazing book and I loved everything about it).  It is rather difficult to talk about the ending of the book because I’d hate to give away the ending for anyone that doesn’t know or hasn’t already read it **read it**.  The final few pages of the book enraged me so much that I almost didn’t read the final few sentence but rather flung the book across the room.  The book deals quite a bit about justice and how too often justice is unjust.  If you really want to know how the book ends and how it could invoke such emotions you’ll just have to pick it up and read it.  I’ve yet to read anything else by Doctorow but I hope to change that soon.

Little Bit & Big Byte

I received a copy of Little Bit & Big Byte written by Craig T. Feigh and illustrated by Patrick Carlson.  The idea of this new children’s book was to introduce youngsters to computer components since the majority of them are already using them.  When I was asked to review an advanced copy of Little Bit & Big Byte I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

The book arrived in the mail last week and I read it as soon as I could.  I must say that i was thrilled to read it when I got the email asking if I wanted to review it.  Then it came.  The concept is wonderful but the book really doesn’t have much to offer young readers.  I was going to read this to my niece and nephew but after I read it I didn’t think they would really enjoy it.

The idea of computer parts as characters is great but it limits what can be done with story and the story itself doesn’t really deal with computers.  And I must say that puns are alright but there are too many of them and it just doesn’t work.  The concept of watching what you do on your computer and to beware of viruses is lost in the attempt to make an interesting story.  And as a result everything is lost.

The illustrations are fun because they are bright and colourful.  And Patrick Carlson placed a dog bone in each picture which gives the young readers (those that don’t know how to read yet) the opportunity to look at the book even though they have no reading level yet.  I found this to be the most interesting aspect of the book.  The first thing I did when I turned the page was to look for the bone.

Overall I think the concept is great but the story and themes get lost to quickly in Little Bit & Big Byte.  But this shouldn’t deter others from trying to write about the computer which has infiltrated every part of our lives.