Posted by: sarah | March 15, 2009

Hurrah! an update

So, as of yesterday, I now am the owner of:

  • Wuthering Heights (Bronte)
  • Dubliners (Joyce)
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce)
  • and Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (by Ruth Downie)

I am exceedingly happy with these purchases; the two Joyce books being published by Penguin makes me very happy because of the editional information Penguin provides in their “classics,” and the Bronte is basically the same copy (just republished) of the one I read about five years ago.

The Downie novel is a new one for me, as I’ve never seen it before, and since it promises to be somewhat like the Falco novels I enjoy, it should be fairly decent.  It’s about a Roman medic, Gaius Petreius Ruso, who does a little detective work.  Doesn’t seem like it might be a barrel of chuckles like Falco, but promises to be a pretty good read.  If anyone’s interested in the author, or the novels, you can take a gander at her blog, http://rsdownie.co.uk.

Posted by: sarah | February 12, 2009

Just to give a general idea…

So here’s something to give you a basic idea of the kind of things I read…

Novels I consider to be among my favourites:

  • the Warlord series, by Bernard Cornwell
  • the Marcus Didius Falco series, by Lindsey Davis
  • Humphry Clinker, by Tobias Smollett
  • Nineteen-Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (the staple of every romantic’s library)
  • Good Omens,  by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Books I hope to read before the end of 2009:

  • Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter Naslund
  • Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
  • The Life and Opinions of Trsistram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

…or at least that’s my list for now.  Hopefully I can squeeze Wuthering Heights in there too (I read it almost four years ago, and I think I’d like to reread it, mostly because I watched the latest Masterpiece Theatre last month).  I’ve also been reading up on James Joyce (having read some stories from his collection, The Dubliners), and if I’m able to get a hold on a copy of either Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, or even Finnegans Wake (even though the ideas and style might be hard to grasp in Finnegans Wake), I would like to take some time to read any of them.

I have several other books at home that I’ve yet to read, so this list might be blown up by the end of the weekend.  Although considering the size of the list and other events (and books!) that might stop me from accomplishing this, I’m still going to give it the “old college try.”

Posted by: sarah | February 12, 2009

Cloud of Bone, by Bernice Morgan

bone I was really surprised when I found I enjoyed this novel. All in all, Cloud is well written; the way Bernice Morgan writes is very seductive, and it kept me wanting to know more about the three people the novel revolves around. (To explain, I honestly didn’t have high expectations, believing it to be another crap book that my English teacher had assigned to the class, but after I had read few pages, I was hooked instantly.)

The novel begins with the story of Kyle Holloway, or “The Sailor,” a young man from Newfoundland, who accidentally gets himself signed up to join the Royal Navy (this part of the story takes place during World War II), and ends up a deserter for something he did while in the Navy, and tries to escape the possible consequences. Kyle’s kind of interesting in the way that he’s desperate and has very little sense of ambition or hope for himself.

Book 2, “The Savage,” is the largest part of the novel, telling the story of Shawnadithit, the last of the Boethuks. This is probably the saddest part of the novel, telling a coming of age story of a girl who is growing up in a culture that is slowly becoming annihilated by European settlers. The voice of the story is Shawnadithit’s own; it’s very powerful in a way that everything is vivid and extremely intense. Every Canadian knows why there’s no Native Americans in Newfoundland, and this story provides a chilling account of what happened to those people from their point of view. The narrative is terrifying in the sense that the haunting narrative makes you feel like you’re actually witnessing the entire thing yourself.

Morgan skillfully brings everything together in the third book, “The Scavenger,” the story of the recently widowed anthropologist Judith Muir, who is trying to put her life back together in present day England. Making a startling discovery in her childhood home, Judith sets out to find answers, and Morgan gives them to her in a way that ties up several loose ends from the other two stories, but leaves you wanting more when it ends. In this book, the author uses Judith to reflect upon the themes of the novel, one of the main ones being introduced to us through the quote at the beginning of the novel: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” (Milan Kundera).

Cloud of Bone is vivid, absorbing and beautifully written, weaving together three different individuals to shed light on the worlds they lived in and their lives, musing about the power of memory and human brutality. This is one of the few books that I’ve read for school that I can honestly say I’ve fallen in love with.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a review by the author’s niece that I found while searching for other reviews about the novel: http://compulsiveoverreader.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/cloud-of-bone-by-bernice-morgan/

Posted by: sarah | February 11, 2009

Greetings to the interweb

First things first: I love reading all sorts of things and I like talking about what I’ve read.  Although it seems now that I don’t have a whole lot of time to myself to read, as I started my first year of university this year, I still try (taking English courses on prose fiction seems to help a bit with this).

Anyroad, I decided to put my musings on things I’ve read here in this convient little blog-type thing in order to share my thoughts and ideas, and hopefully get to know other people through this process who have similar taste (or not) in their literary selections.

That’s all for now.  If anyone’s actually reading this, I thank them kindly for their attention.

- Sarah

(I claim no rights to the pictures used on this site, as they are obtained through image searches on web browsers.)

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