A friend of mine once lamented that great literature is often wasted when we’re forced to read it in high school. Some works need a bit more time and distance to be fully appreciated. And then there are those that hold up to being read then and then read again with a different life perspective.
After spending the last few days immersed in the nightmarish world of George Orwell’s 1984, I can’t help but feel this is a novel that should be read not only in high school but every few years after graduation day.
I read this one in school and beyond the popular culture allusions to it, I didn’t recall the true dark nature of the story nor Orwell’s fascinating world-building within the printed page. Starting off with the great opening line about a clock striking thirteen, the novel immediately set me on edge with that feeling that something is horribly wrong here. In some ways it reminded me of certain episodes of Star Trek where mind-bleepery is on full display. As the audience, we know something isn’t quite right with reality and we spend the rest of the episode trying to figure out if and when our familiar characters will return to the reality we know for most other episodes. Continue reading
A Study in Charlotte?
I see what you did there.
Clever title aside, this Sherlock Holmes homage is an interesting and entertaining story that features the great-great-great-great grandchildren of the original Holmes and Watson. Being a young adult novel and requiring the requisite romantic angst, this time around it’s Holmes’ descendent Charlotte and Watson’s descent, Jamie.
Brought together at a private school in Connecticut, the duo soon finds themselves at the center of a series of murders that take a page from some of Holmes and Watston’s most stories chaos. As the prime suspects in each of the cases, Holmes and Watson must join forces to try and figure out what’s going on and who the real culprit it.
As a way to introduce a new generation to the Holmes universe, A Study in Charlotte works extremely well. Both Holmes and Watson have some of the traits of their famous literary descendants and the connections between the two families and their shared history are just some of the interesting aspects of the story. The fact that a Holmes has moved from using cocaine to crystal meth is an interesting development in the story and the fact that Watson has a temper that sometimes get the better of him is another.
Brittany Cavallaro knows her Holmes-lore and sprinkles it judiciously. As the first novel in a trilogy, I’m intrigued enough by some of the larger plot threads and the characters to want to pick up another volume and continue to read more about the modern Holmes and Watson.
The book also makes me eager to dust off my original copies of the Holmes story and visit them again as well.
I think I first encountered Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever when a teacher read it to our class. I’m not sure exactly which grade I was in when this happened, but I do remember I found the story of the Herdman clan invading the annual Christmas pageant a lot of fun.
I think I checked this book out of the library at least a hundred times growing up. Of course, it got very popular during the Christmas season, so I’d get in my seasonal reading of the book in early to late November each year.
The Herdman family comes from the wrong side of the town. They’re dirty, rude and have a terrible reputation. Somehow the Herdman family catches wind of the annual Christmas pageant and shows up for tryouts, bullying their way into some of the prime roles in the play. As rehearsals unfold, the Herdman family proves to be disruptive, leading up to a funny performance. Continue reading
Filed under books, Christmas
Yesterday was National Readathon Day.
And while I couldn’t devote the entire day to reading, I was able to set aside a couple of hours to relaxing and enjoying a couple of good books. Over the course of my personal read-a-thon, I streamed a couple of classical music playlists designed for readers from Amazon Prime and read the following:
Prince of Fools by by Mark Lawrence
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Farris
Started and Finished:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Cemetery Girl by David J. Bell
The Pocket Wife by Susan J. Crawford
Did anyone else participate in the read-a-thon? If so, what did you read?