Monday, December 26, 2016

The Home Stretch...

or Part 4 of my Literary Challenge....

#38 . The Aeneid by Virgil

I have a bit of a confession on this one, I scanned some sections.  I am on my third variation of the Trojan War this year with The Odyssey and The Iliad already completed.  I started it and then recognized a weird underlying I did some research into the Aeneid and found that one of its criticisms is that it is a not so veiled pro Augustus, the Roman emperor, tale.  I then realized why I was not enjoying it...we are having our current political season shoved down our throats and I can take no more.  I may put this on my reading list in the future when I can read it without the two other poems so fresh in my mind and also without the politics so fresh in my mind....

#46 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

As you may remember, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of my least favorite books EVER!  So I approached Jane Eyre with trepidation and very quickly found that having a different Bronte sister as the author makes a world of difference.  I LOVED this book!  The descriptive words, the gentle, yet never boring, pace, and tale of knowing your own worth, even when others do not, and standing by your principles.  I cannot recommend this book enough!!!

#11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

There are books that even though you really didn't enjoy or like reading, you can appreciate what the author is doing, 'The Brothers Karamazov' falls into this camp for me.  As much as my reading challenge has taught me that I love French authors, I am realizing that Russian authors are not my favorites.  I found this book to be rambling and overly dramatic at times.  It poses a valid questions of how to balance religious and a secular life.   I have friends, whose opinions and preferences I respect and generally agree with, that have this and other Dostoyevsky novels as their all time favorites.  I now can say I have read him and appreciated the experience, but have no plan to do it again.

#42 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

I have started the first Tale multiple times due to the fact that the version I am reading is in Middle English and it has taken me a bit to get used to it.   Once you get past the language, it flies and is quite entertaining with humor and lessons abounding (even women's rights)...the best tip I received, read it aloud.  It helps you find the rhythm and helps with the comprehension too.

#49 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

I have read more short stories this year than I have in my entire life this year due to this challenge.  As with the other collections I have read this year, some stick out and some you just read and leave.  The surprise of this collection was the unexpected humor, granted a bit dark and sarcastic at times, but humor none the less.....

#39 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Well, I read it...and it was good, but I wasn't wowed by it.  David Copperfield is believed to be an a thinly veiled autobiography story of Dicken's life.   It is his most popular book, but it isn't mine.  It's going to end up one of those books that I read, but don't really remember.......

#50 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

We all have someone in our life that when telling a story gets sidetracked at the slightest distraction and as a result you often don't always get the whole story from them but it is generally entertaining.  Tristram Shandy is like that person, it is supposed to be his life story, but when you haven't even gotten to his birth over a third of the way thru the book, you know you're in for an adventure.  It is laugh out loud funny and quite the satire with profound wisdom scattered throughout.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to end this year's challenge.

Still reading...

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