I continue to dedicate the month of September to blogging about my progress on the 2015 Reading Challenge.
There are some books that I have read for blogging that can fit into many categories, but some of the categories are so specific that even though I have not decided where many books best fit, I have some whose category is immutable. Last week were the books that I blew an audible credit on without blinking because I knew it was critical. This week are the less dreaded, read interspersed with the challenging ones from last week.
A book with someone who shares your initials: Imagine my excitement when I realized that a book that had already made it onto my Goodreads TBR list also counted for my reading challenge!
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
I had seen books by Beryl Bainbridge but something told me to go to the B section of the library and cruise. Not a lot of BB initials out there, I have to admit, and mine are only by merit of marriage. This book is totally my cup of tea: magic, psychic abilities, a conflicted setting, mental illness and a good mystery. I agree with the other reviewers that the premise is good and the twist is good, but the execution of all the elements could have been refined and converged more thoroughly. Barry uses the unreliable narrator with psychic abilities so the reader does not always know what is real and what is not, which I like, but the end does not tie things up as much as I would like.
A classic love story: I thought I really did not like love stories until I trolled Pinterest for others’ choices in this category and discovered that I had read most books that were considered ‘Classic Love Stories.” It’s romance that I am not really into. Which means that I might have to read it for my genre that you don’t typically read for Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading list because who does not need two reading lists in one year? I certainly do. People seemed to choose Wuthering Heights and I have already read that, but I had not read:
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
It surprised me that I had not read this yet, based on the fact that it is a popular movie and I loves me a good pop culture reference. In fact, if you have read previous posts, I have noted that pop culture references helped me get into the classics because I wanted to know what the fuss was and what people were talking about. This is a love story but it is also just as silly as the movie, which makes it fun. It’s a light read and has more of Goldman’s life in it than is in the movie, but I like the fact that the ‘original’ book was something different and this is his ‘modified’ version of a childhood classic. I love to re-read books that I read as a kid. I was going to read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell for this, but I think I will read it for a book with antonyms in the title. And because I just need to read North and South. Duh.
A book from your childhood: The challenge with this one was choosing which childhood book that I would like to revisit. I re-read Matilda by Roald Dahl last year so that was out, and usually I pick out a Ruth Chew, but I was being lazy about the library and some genius has sought out my nerd contingent by digitalizing and bundling her books for kindle and the ones I bought I had also re-read recently. I thought that she was somewhat obscure and maybe she is, but other adults who fell in love with her work at the same time I did seem to make up a big enough market to make these books available for Kindle. But what I did choose was:
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
There was magic in my thinking about what it would be like to be a mouse but with my human brain. This little home and family that the mice had made and the really cool colony that the rats had made swept up my imagination. Coming back to it as an adult I can recognize the bigger social issues addressed. The goal of the rats in the book, which is to be self-sustaining, has bigger implications to me now as an adult than it did as a child. I just thought it was cool that the rats had managed to get electricity in their home and how they solved Mrs. Frisby’s problem. The only thing that bothers me about the book and same with 101 Dalmatians is that they were written a long time ago and are a little misogynistic. Mrs. Frisby has no first name in this book. In 101 Dalmatians, the female dogs were not nearly as bright as the male ones. At least the rats are smarter than Mrs. Frisby because they have been genetically modified and taught by humans to read and not because they are male and she is not.
Please feel free to comment below on your choices for these categories. I anticipate having specific books chosen also for a book that came out the year that I was born (Little, Big, Housekeeping, or The Unbearable Lightness of Being) antonyms in the title (North and South) , and a play (Ghosts, Romeo and Juliet, or Death of a Salesman, or something else).