The Family

The Family

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Adventures in Reading

It appears I overestimated my ability to get through the books on my summer reading list.


I think I've made it through four of the books that were on that list. They've been good, parts were great, but as a whole, I haven't been been too excited about any of them.

Last night I finished "Beautiful Ruins," and am unsure whether I liked the book. I guess I don't see what the fuss is all about. I definitely don't see eye to eye with the reviews posted on the back cover.

Parts of the book were great, but I had a hard time identifying with many of the characters. All except one were likeable; they just weren't believable. The one character that had the most depth, Alvis Bender, was the one probably given the least attention. I think I may have liked the book better if the entire novel was devoted to his story.

I also found a lot of the language to be crude and crass. I'm no stranger to four-letter words and don't get easily offended by them (I read and love "Game of Thrones" for goodness sake.) This was beyond that. There were a number of instances while reading that I was so disgusted by the discourse that I almost didn't finish the book. Most of it was unnecessary and, in my opinion, detracted from the best parts.

I've now decided to go back to the Open Yale class on Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald for my next read. I've had Fitzgerald's short stories sitting on my nightstand for months, but ever the one for conformity, I'm going to stick to what's on the syllabus and go with Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not" next.

The book I found myself most drawn to this summer was Mark Twain's classic, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." It wasn't on  my personal list, rather it was one I read aloud to the children.

There's good reason why it's much loved by children and adults alike. Tom's a mischief maker with a conscience.

I'm just as enthused to begin "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" tomorrow. We picked it up at the library this afternoon. While Tom was new to me, Huck's story is one I'll be re-visiting. I read it in the ninth grade - a year that was full of great reads in Mrs. Rhinehart's class.

We also picked up a biography today on Queen Nefertiti.

No, you aren't confused. You read it right.

Last week I was going through some poems in a children's anthology and read one about Queen Nefertiti. It was sort of scary and Jack stopped what he was doing, came over to me and listened intently. This rarely happens!

He wanted to know if she was real. When I said yes, he said he wanted to get a book on her from the library.

I kid you not.

I thought he would forget about it, but he brought it up again yesterday. When we were in the library today I asked him if he really wanted me to find a book on Queen Nefertiti. There were no children's books on her, so I found a biography in the adult section.

I'm interested to see how this turns out!

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