Utopia was a very difficult book for me to read. Every sentence was a run-on. And the writing was at a time so removed from modern writing it was arduous to read. So much of what was written felt like a high schoolers attempt to make a paper longer. Way too much detail that did not propel the story along. I found reading Thomas More’s Wikipedia article much more fascinating. He was a very strange man!
Look at this guy! He is not a happy man. More wrote Utopia way back in 1516. It later became the forerunner of the utopian literary genre. After he refused to accept the king as head of the Church of England, he was convicted of treason and beheaded in 1535. He was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint in 1935.
I read the book because it was the start of a whole fiction and fantasy genre, but the book is very stale, duh, it was written in 1516. The book only earned 2 stars with me. The real interesting story here is the author. What a character!
An Oscar Wilde classic that was made into at least two films in 1952 and 2002. I had not read this book before but I am familiar with Wilde’s other works. The Importance of Being Earnest is a short 76 pages that is a funny one-sitting read. When I think of this book I have trouble not remembering the 2002 film. It seemed to be on of those shows that were on TBS or TNT a lot. While reading the book I remembered a film very much like the book then when researching for this post, I understood why and finally made that connection.
This book earned 5/5 stars with me mostly because it was a quick laugh. Hard to find something to dislike in such a short and funny little story.
Ah, Mr. Márquez, how your years of solitude challenged me! That book with its 457 pages was so drawn out. But he really did develop those characters and boy can the man write. His prose is beautiful. But, Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a different animal altogether.
Its a quick book at only 120 pages, so the story is forced to move quickly. You still get invested in the characters because the character development doesn’t seem rushed and magical prose is still there in this work just as it was present in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
The astonishing part about the story is that everyone sees what is going to happen before it does. The way that Márquez weaves the story is just amazing. Following the story from one character to the next without stuttering, so smooth. This novel earned a 4 out of 5 stars. Not bad because after Solitude, I wasn’t sure I would read any of his work again. Márquez is one of those authors that I fear, I just don’t get and there may be so much more to his writing that I’m just not able to grasp. Lucky for me he as written more.
This is the fifth book in the Sherlock Holmes Adventures. This list from goodreads is the one I’m using to read them in a certain order. I really enjoy these and they are very short, but I have a hard time remembering to read the next one because I switch around so much on the series that I am reading.
This particular adventure, The Five Orange Pips, is another fun one. At 40 pages, it made a great read for the summer reading program because it was a very fast read, but still enjoyable. I can’t tell you much about this one as it is so short, to talk about it gives away a lot, but it involves the KKK in London. A good albeit short read. I recommend it as I do all of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I rated this story 3\5 stars.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce is not really a book, it is a short, very short story. It is only 36 pages. Readers of the blog probably know that I picked this one up primarily as a way to get another book under my belt during the summer reading contests that the local libraries always have. The more books you read the more chances you have to win a prize.
“The condemned man stands on a bridge, his hands bound behind his back. A noose is tied around his neck…” – From An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Finding books to read in this way has introduced me to many new authors I would not have found on my own. For example, I had never heard of this book but it has 16,800 ratings on goodreads, with an average rating of 4.02. Which I agreed with giving it a 4/5 rating.
The photo above is from the Ambrose Bierce Project. This is not Owl Creek bridge, but a similar bridge on the same river to give you an idea. More pictures are available at the website.
I would say you won’t lose anything by reading this book including your time as it is so short, but don’t take my word for it:
“I consider anybody a twerp who hasn’t read the greatest American short story, which is ‘Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,’ by Ambrose Bierce.” – Kurt Vonnegut