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Review: Jane Eyre

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Jane EyreBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars to Jane Eyre, a wonderful novel written in 1847 by Charlotte Brontë. I read this book on Spring break just prior to my 21st birthday, perhaps not the best time to take this beauty on. At 21, being a guy, and English major and forced to read a few books I didn’t think I’d like, this came at a time where although I liked it, I wasn’t as in love with as most others are… hence the 3+ rating. I believe if I read it today, it’d be a 4+. But I have 1200 books on my TBR and simply can’t afford to take on any re-reads without losing my mind. Perhaps I should watch a TV or Film version to renew my interest? It has all the right parts… young woman suffering at the hands of the conventions of time and family (two things I enjoy in books)… the love of a ‘good’ man (meaning you see a relationship grow high and low)… and drama (will she escape it all?). Society was harsh nearly 200 years ago. I would not have survived. I am not vocal about my opinions of people’s behavior or societal limitations, but I believe anyone should be able to do anything they want without hurting someone else or the world we live in. If you want to marry your cousin, go ahead… not my business. If you want to sleep with a new man or woman every night, more power to you. Doesn’t affect me. If you want to wear revealing clothing… go look your best — just don’t do it where someone may cause an accident as a result! 🙂 Point being…. I struggle sometimes with books that cover these conventions because I want everything to be free and open. And when it isn’t, I can enjoy the battle to get there, but it’s a bit difficult when I combine it with 200 year old setting and guides. That said… I adore Jane. I empathize with her. I could be her on some levels. The words and language are great. It should be read. But know what you’re getting into!



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Cherry Orchard

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The Cherry OrchardBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Cherry Orchard, a tragedy and comedy all rolled into one, published in 1904 by a great Russian, Anton Chekhov. I’d heard of this play during my high school years, but never actually read it. In college, I had a course in modern drama and theatre, where this was one of the 16 plays we read: 1 per week for the 4 month course. Our school also performed a theatrical version a later semester where I participated in some backstage work. We also did a video and literary analytical comparison. I know the play well. Commentary on society. Discussion of values. Choices. Understanding what you will give up for what you need to have. The themes in this one are so large, it’s often hard to discuss them without getting animated.

Additionally, The Cherry Orchard was the piece that I did my technical and textual analysis on, so I had strong opinions and theories about the characters and the action. When I saw the video, I was a bit shocked at some things, but I also realized that many things were done in the way that I would have done them. The whole discussion/argument about the play being a comedy or a tragedy is one that comes to mind.
I thought while reading the piece that it was mostly a tragedy. The Ranevskys were losing their estate and cherry orchard. I had sympathy and pity for them. Then, I thought more about how it was played in the video, and what the narrator had to say. I also recalled the action in the play and realized that the action is external, and therefore, it depends on the way that characters are played by the actors. It was the acting, at least for me, which showed the tragic side of the play in the video. When Lopakhin is announcing at the end that he is now the owner of the estate and the orchard, the staging and directing was brilliant. The entire stage was silent, and the characters all stood around Lopakhin. The orchestra was playing a little bit also, and Lopakhin began his speech. He was somewhat hysterical, but also vindicated. Watching this scene is what convinced me that the play was more tragic than comic.

The actress who played Madame Ranevsky was a great actress. When she broke down about losing the estate with her brother Gayev, there were more tragic tones to the play. It was hard to decide exactly how I felt about the piece because there were the interruptions to let the narrator talk for awhile. Overall, I liked the version because it appeared very classic. By classic, I mean in the lines and the dark colors. I wish that I saw the actual orchard. I felt a little deprived because the orchard was the focus of the piece.

There were parts that were left out also that I wish I could have seen acted. In my opinion, the entire play should have been put on, and then afterwards, the narrator should have commented on it. They could have held flashbacks and then remind us of specific scenes that were played in a certain way, etc. The end was good when Firs was left alone. I like that part. He was on the couch and I wondered what was going to happen. When I read the play, I thought that he was going to die, but I was unsure about his character in the film. There was a lot of discussion about the sounds of the piercing harp string and the axe at the end when the orchard was being cut down. This discussion was very interesting because it helped me to understand the importance of the sounds before I gave my textual analysis.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Metamorphosis

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The MetamorphosisBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Metamorphosis, written in 1915 by Franz Kafka. I think most people are familiar with the premise of this book, and rather than do a normal review, I thought maybe I’d question how on earth Kafka came up with this one? It was such a great way to tell the story and teach a lesson… a man wakes up as a giant beetle? (I secretly suspect he came across a huge cockroach in his apartment while in NYC one day). And how do you deal with such a change? Your family is afraid. They are embarrassed. You can talk. What’s really going on here? What is Kafka trying to say about life? We’re all insensitive? Liars? Fakes? Humorists? Nutty? So many things to read into here… it’s a run book, too. When you’re a bug life’s quite different. Have you ever managed something like that before? No. So how did Kafka come up with all the little things to make it real? I’m glad he did as this book helps you enjoy reading when you may be forced to read some classics at a younger age that don’t appeal to you. As an more mature reader, you find all the symbols and beauty in the messages with this one. I believe I read it twice, possibly some excerpts for a third instance. Each time, it gets better. I would love to see a really good film or TV Adaption… purely to witness the metaphorical views a director would incorporate on the big screen or the stage. The words are amazing, but it’s what you experience by reading it that makes it such a wonderful book.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
View all my reviews

Review: Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Book Review


4 out of 5 stars to Of Mice and Men, a novel written in 1937 by John Steinbeck. What a heartbreaking book… many students in American high schools read this one around 9th or 10th grade, and it provokes such sensitive topics to be discussed. A quick summary: Lenny and George are drifters looking for work. Lenny is a little slow and has a few disabilities that weren’t addressed when he was younger, likely due to time time period (early 20th century) when they had ability to ignore these types of illnesses. Unfortunately, it has disastrous consequences for him and for George. Men can be cruel. So can be women. Lenny tends to hold on to things a little too tightly when he’s scared. He’s lost a few pets and things he loved, as a result. One day, a woman pushes him a little too far, more than he’s capable of understanding, and he reacts in fear. George must find a way to cover it up, and his only recourse is to take his own disastrous actions. No spoilers here, but you probably get the drift already. No matter if you know the end, you still need to read the story to see how people treat one another because they are different or they aren’t perceptive enough to understand their own consequences.

This books helps people understand what happens when you lose control. It helps you figure out what you might need to do to protect someone. And it helps show who’s (wo)man enough to stand up for others or to sit back and watch bad things happen. It’s charged and full of emotion and fear. I struggled a little with some of the secondary characters and the setting, no my favorite. If it were set in a bit more modern times, I might have given this one a 5. But it’s absolutely worth reading whenever you have a chance to find a quiet corner and be ready for a bit of a cry and a flood of questions, answers and thoughts.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of WrathBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Grapes of Wrath, written in 1939 by John Steinbeck. I might have an unpopular opinion when it comes to this book, as it was fine but nothing fantastic for me. I admit, I read this in middle school, nearly 25 years ago, and never went back to read it again. I tend not to like books about awful things as the main plot. I don’t mind when bad things happen, or circumstances change, but when the entire book is about the pain and suffering of a family, it doesn’t usually rise to the top of my TBR. I might consider giving this one another chance, but you have some major convincing to do. I like Steinbeck, too, so it’s not so much an issue with the author as it is with the topic. The writing is strong. The imagery is good. The characters are well drawn. The setting is very detailed. But when it comes to the plight of a family against the hardships all around them, it’s a difficult read. Part of my issue may have been a connection with the story. While I certainly don’t have a real-life connection with my favorite books (mysteries, thrillers…), you need to have an understanding and recognition between what’s happening and how you live. Coming from the northeast, in a major metropolitan city, 50+ years after these times, it doesn’t start off as something I’m familiar with. I usually don’t read things about this time period or space for those reasons. If the characters called to me, I might have liked it more. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a good book. And it’s got a place in the world of classics. And it helped highlight a lot of wrongs that people weren’t aware of. And maybe because I learned those lessons from other books and other places, this one just didn’t seem all that top notch to me. That said, it’s Steinbeck, so there is something of value here. No one can tell reality like he can.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the FliesBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to Lord of the Flies, a coming-of-age novel written in 1954 by William Golding, who was a Nobel Prize winner. Most people have either read this book during middle/high school (in America or Great Britain), or have heard of it because of its cannibalism story line. But wait… it wasn’t really cannibalism — huge exaggeration to set straight, right from the beginning. But let’s back up… At a time of war, a group of teenage boys are in a plane that crashed onto an isolated and jungle-like island. They are forced to grow up quickly when they have no food, water or shelter at their disposal. It’s a story about how to take care of yourself in the jungle when you have nothing but raw supplies. The novel is full of themes from loss of innocence to the differences between savagery and civilization. It asks the question what type of a person are you — a leader or a follower? The story charts the actions of the teens as they grow up, hunt for food, build shelter and learn how to work together. They divide into opposing teams, trying to see how is the best leader. They learn to help each other and watch others dies. They run out of supplies and food, questioning whether to eat meat, hence where cannibalism comes from. But it’s not a major story where they choose to do it and eat an entire body to survive, that’s a different book! I read the book once and tried a second time, but what I realized is that the world today is a very different place. While I appreciate the themes and characters being brought to life in this novel, it didn’t have as strong an impact on me as it has for others. I think it may be the kind of novel that is best read when you are a teenager, as it helps with understanding things are the same today as they were 75 years ago, in terms of growing up and learning how to work together. When you’ve got a classic like this one paired up against something like The Hunger Games, it’s a tough choice. They deal with the same sort of context in terms of “survival of the fittest,” but one is a dangerous game and another is an accident. I like them both, but I’d choose The Hunger Games, even tho it’s probably less well-written. Teen angst, lessons to be learned, education versus playtime, all great concepts both books addressed, but the difference is when a book almost goes out of the way to try to teach me something versus it naturally happening. I still believe it’s a good book, and it should be read, but if it were written today, I don’t think it would be as popular.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Washington Square

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Washington Square Book Review
4 out of 5 stars for Washington Square, a classic novel written in 1880 by Henry James. Henry James is my favorite American realistic period or classic novelist, and Washington Square is an example of why. This man can take a small situation and write 300+ pages all about it. And this is one of his shorter books. In this classic, the tale of the average woman, who is set to inherit a large sum of money, meets dashing man… but of course, he’s only after her money. She’s considered plain-looking. He’s considered ruthless. They couldn’t possibly be in love. And as you follow the course of their “romance,” you see what couples and relationships go through during the courting period… at least as it was 150 years ago. James is not shy when it comes to providing detailed descriptions of feelings and actions. You read his words as though you are in your head, thinking about choices and decisions for hours, then acting on them. This is a very direct story… commentary on the normal every day live, the differences between classes, the way in which women must act to find a husband, the efforts men go to so they can be free, the attitudes of society towards older women or those who are not considered great beauties. When you step away from this book, hopefully not too frustrated at the story being so basic and calm, you realize it’s a reflection on reality… on what actually was happening at the time. Who would accept it today? Who would tolerate being treated in such a manner? And where do you go when you end up a bit hopeless? Stories like this aren’t common nowadays, at least in this form. But when you put yourself into the time period, this is a true treasure.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews