Thursday, September 01, 2011

Catching up on some classics

Waiting for eagerly anticipated books to come out in paperback is hard! It's especially hard when they're part of a series. So, as I waited (and am still waiting) for Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin, I decided to peruse our bookshelves and read some books that have sat there for a while . . . an embarrassingly long time in some cases.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: This was surprisingly creepy considering it was written in 1897. I know! I was surprised, too - I had no idea it was written that long ago. That being said, I found it enjoyable, but felt the ending was kind of anticlimactic. The creepiness lessens throughout the book, but I had no trouble finishing it. Dracula is the original vampire, seeking to strengthen himself and enlarge his species by feeding on humans.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: The extent of my prior knowledge of this book was only what I gathered from watching A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which, I recommend). That's kind of sad. The book, of course, differs from the information you get from the movie, but I thought it was interesting and entertaining. I was, however, annoyed because I read the front panel of the version that I have (you know, to get an idea of what the book is about) and it gives away all the major plot twists! So beware of that. Basically, Dorian Gray is a young, handsome, socialite who sees a portrait of himself that so entrances him that he becomes depressed at the thought of aging. He sells his soul in order that the portrait may physically alter instead of himself. Some parts are really chilling.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Yep, I have my M.A. in English and had never read it. I'm embarrassed by that actually. But, no more! I consider it a valuable addition to my have-read book list. The language is old, but I like that in books - for example I love early British lit. so old language and long descriptions don't usually deter or annoy me. It also provides a glimpse into the Puritan beliefs and attitudes. Hester Prynne is a married woman who has an affair while her husband is away for years. She becomes pregnant, and as punishment she is forced to wear at all times a red letter A (adulterer) prominently displayed on her clothing, while the identity of the man is kept secret. The man, Hester, and Hester's husband suffer in different ways throughout the book, and the conclusion is a satisfying and somewhat surprising one, in my opinion.

I have to say I'm kind of glad those previously-mentioned books aren't out in paperback yet because I got to read some books that would probably still be gathering dust right now. Oh the gems you can find if you actually look. :)

*On a side note, I just purchased Oxi Clean Stain Remover Powder for all the variety of stains that Asher's and Aiden's clothes acquire . . . it's spendy, but I am SOLD. If I don't have to spend half an hour or more scrubbing clothes before putting them in the wash, that's worth the money to me. If only I had tried this sooner . . . live and learn I guess!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip on the wash treatment...I have a 16 month old and newborn and I have no time for scrubbing stains!