Wednesday, January 21, 2009

recent books

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This was apparently one of the priceless joys of tenth grade that I missed. Having read it, I'm glad to have traded a year of high school social trauma and lack of freedom for the experience. It wasn't at all bad, but disappointing compared to his short stories.

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin: This staple of 8th grade Language Arts was one of my favorite books in junior high and I couldn't help re-reading it when I came across it at home. Surprisingly, it was just as good at age 22 as at 13. But that might be because my memory for books is so bad the mystery was fresh all over again.

The Black Monk and Other Stories, by Anton Chekhov. I was utterly, completely bored by these. I kept having to rewind because my brain was more inclined to factor mile markers than focus on the literary tedium. Devoid of compelling characters, engaging plots, moving or thought-provoking commentary, and beautiful writing.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Silly, trite, and shockingly entertaining. Austen is amazing at developing an entire cast of interesting, three-dimensional, relatable characters. I expected to be too put off by the cultural setting to enjoy it, but it just makes the whole thing funnier, and Elizabeth Bennett is a headstrong and independent enough female main character that you hardly notice you're reading about stiff shallow rich aristocratic boring Victorian freaks. I completely adore her actually.

Plus, now I understand this. *giggles*