Skip to main content

Summer Reading Review

 

I’ve continued my journey through the classics over the past month, with a slight detour through modern fiction.

 

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Currently reading; barely into chapter three but so for the regurgitation of hedonism is a bit sickening.

     

  • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing 
  • Rating: Four Stars

    Started reading Jasper Fforde’s latest novel in the Thursday Next series and realized I’d forgotten a lot of details from the preceding four novels (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten). So I put down OnOTIM and picked up The Eyre Affair and read through it and the three others before diving back into OnOTIM. I really love this series (along with Fforde’s other series- the Nursery Crimes) and the latest addition did not disappoint. I did feel however that the ending was compacted and rushed compared to the pace of the rest of the novel. My husband also enjoys this fantasy series so I’d say the appeal is definitely cross gender. It’s got everything to love: romance, drama, action, mystery, time travel, sarcasm and dry wit.

     

  • My Antonia
  • Rating: Five Stars

    Willa Cather’s historical love story is beautiful. Her gift with descriptive text is unmatched; I was able to pull myself easily into the Nebraskan landscape she gloriously describes. My favorite excerpts below:

    “She threw her arms around me, and her dear face was all wet with tears. I stood watching their white dresses glimmer smaller and smaller down the sidewalk as they went away. I have had no other success that pulled at my heartstrings like that one.”

    “The windy springs and the blazing summers, one after another, had enriched and mellowed that flat tableland; all the human effort that had gone into it was coming back in long, sweeping lines of fertility.”

    “If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”

     

  • War of the Worlds
  • Rating: Two Stars

    Very short novel that didn’t convey any deep meaning or instill deep identification or sympathy with the characters. Forgettable.

     

  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Rating: Four Stars

    I would have rated Dickens’ classic novel with five stars if it weren’t for his style in use of language. Something about the way he wrote causes difficulty in reading comprehension; I often found myself rereading sentences or paragraphs to discern what was happening in the scene or what the characters were trying to convey with their speech. Aside from the language style, the novel holds up brilliantly on all other aspects to be judged. The characters are strongly developed, the descriptive narrative paints the picture of scene well, and the plot is engaging. It’s also a happy bonus for me when the story teaches a moral lesson in parallel with the narrative unfolding and that is just what AToTC accomplishes. It speaks volumes on revenge, mob rule and sacrificial love.

     

  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • Rating: Two Stars

    The quality of writing in this novel is sophomoric and it shows in the dialogue and the descriptive text. Might be a good simple read for children but there are much better novels for adult consumption.

    Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

    Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach.At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He …

    Board Game Review: Shoot Cows

    Saturday afternoon at GenCon I came across a demonstration of Shoot Cows getting started at the designer’s booth. The little cow cards looked interesting, so I volunteered to participate and within 5 minutes we all had the rules down. I picked up a copy for myself and vowed to play it within a week. Yesterday I did just that. My husband, myself, and our 13-year-old daughter gathered around our gaming table at lunchtime for a quick game.
    Opening the box and examining the cards, I found them to be of average thickness. Not impossible to bend, but thick enough to stand up to repeated usage. The artwork inside the box compliments what’s on the cover – a black and white cow palette that fits the game’s theme.
    I don’t often delve into step-by-step gameplay in my reviews (too complicated; read the rules) but as the rules and play for Shoot Cow are rather simple, it’s reasonable to given them some coverage. Two survivor cards are distributed to each player and put face up in front of them, si…

    Spirit Island Jagged Earth Preview: A First Look at the New Kickstarter Expansion from Greater Than Games

    Exciting news this week! The Spirit Island Jagged Earth expansion launches on Kickstarter October 16th, 2018. I had the chance to preview and play this upcoming release from Greater Than Games multiple times this week, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

    Update: the Kickstarter is live here.


    Our Spirit Island collection keeps growing. First there was the base game, which debuted in 2017 and turned the traditional narrative of the conquering colonists on its head, allowing players to take on the role of island spirits determined to keep the colonists at bay through any means necessary to preserve the serenity of the island. My husband and I picked up the game at retail (having missed the Kickstarter window) and fell in love with it immediately, enthused to work together as powerful spirits and put the invaders down. Next, we added the Branch and Claw expansion. This expansion (also part of the original Kickstarter) expanded the board, added new spirits and powers, new blight card…