History & Criticism

To the Lighthouse (Wordsworth Classics)
To the Lighthouse (Wordsworth Classics)

Review: Take my word for it--if you've not read Virginia Woolf before--you need to be in the mood to read her. I think her books can be unbearable otherwise. However, I was in the mood for "To the Lighthouse," and I thought it was terrific.
I've been much more intrigued by Virginia Woolf after Michael Cunningham's "The Hours," (and the subsequent film) brought her back into the limelight. She was fascinated with the degree to which everyday, seemingly trivial details of life can seem to be matters... Read more

Mrs. Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway

Review: Well, I can check this book off my 'to read' list. That's one of the best things I can say about it. One day in Mrs. Dalloway's life and those of the people who know her is achingly described, sometimes lovely and sometimes nonsensical. You would think if an author wanted to focus on one single day, she might want the reader to come away changed somehow by some significant message. There is nothing substantial in the story. It is lovely writing about nothing. Mrs. Dalloway is planning a pa... Read more

Night and Day (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
Night and Day (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)

Review: I thought the last Jesse Stone novel, STRANGER IN PARADISE, was a little bit over the top. The laidback rhythm was missing; the relationship between Jesse, Molly, and Suit was muted. Not to worry, with NIGHT AND DAY the old Jesse is back.

This version is more about obsession than anything. Jesse and his staff are investigating a Peeping Tom case that turns into home invasion. In a similar vein, a young girl comes to Jesse complaining about her parents' wife swapping, and then there's a sc... Read more

A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own

Review: Lovely book from an era when feminists were ladies first. Virginia Woolf had such a way of capturing the luxurious elegance of upper class English life before and after World War One. All the feminists she ever knew were ladies. (Not like that horrible American Emma Goldman.) Nobody worries about stuff like finding a job, being able to afford decent medical care, or living in a dangerous neighborhood. So delightfully aristocratic! Of course there were probably hundreds of thousands of English wo... Read more

The Pearl
The Pearl

Review: I'm a huge fan of Steinbeck and couldn't believe I hadn't read "The Pearl" in high school. So, I bought it at Amazon and wasn't impressed with the book. While some of the author's observations about people, human nature, and towns/communities are really good, this book is somewhat blah. It's based on a Mexican folk tale, so I can't fault Steinbeck for the lack of plot, but something just seems to be missing. I also didn't like the end, it was somewhat gory and made me think "ewww" just like... Read more

The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder - Prairie Fires
The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder - Prairie Fires

Review: I read this book in (almost) one sitting over a Thanksgiving weekend. Revisiting these beloved books of my childhood and finding out what had happened to the "real" Laura throughout her long life was fascinating. The story of her life and work is awe-inspiring. She was able to take the darkness and bitterness all of us face in our adult lives and redeem it into core values of honesty, integrity, and thankfulness. Reading about Laura's life in the context of American history is fascinating. A gre... Read more

How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures
How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

Review: There was a moment in this book where I actually shouted "Yes!" out loud.

The year I turned 13, I became the owner of a scruffy paperback copy of "The Great Gatsby. "I fell in love the first time I read through it, then proceeded to read it another thirty times. Read every Fitzgerald novel I could find, every biography, every short story. I carried Gatsby around with me all that year, balanced on top of my pile of school books as I went from class to class. Though we studied it for Honors... Read more

A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions) - The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions) - The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Review: I guess I've aged since I first read Mark Twain. I found I didn't agree with some of his ideas.
However, it will do very well on the book shelf at my holiday unit which other family members
use. I think it's handy to have reading matter that can be looked at for short periods of time. Read more

30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko - Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley
30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko - Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley

Review: I've been watching Mark's videos for sometime
and I thought of buying the book since I have some art skills
All I want to say is it is well explained and really amazing book
it is a must to buy if you are starting to draw manga or people
maybe if you want to start your comic then you can know here too

All the best Mark
PS. finally I saw the face of the man behind all those videos !! Read more

Giovanni's Room
Giovanni's Room

Review: I personally avoided this book during my younger days, being strictly hetero sexual myself. However, at a much older age,I can appreciate the beauty of the writing. I found myself fully immersed and read it in one reading. I believe I gained understanding through my reading. I do regret not having read it at an earlier age. Sexual preferences aside, this is a jewel for one who can appreciate true literature and deeply emotional depiction of love and of self-discovery. Do yourself a treat a... Read more

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