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Brewer Burns

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some Summer Reading

I've been reading rather voraciously this spring and summer. Some of the books that I've finished up:

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

A classic novel. On re-reading it I found much to like, but remembered why I have a hard time following it. Ms. Woolf employed almost a stream of consciousness style of writing that makes it hard for me to follow in places. On the whole it is interesting. I like the way that the author ties together the story of Septimus & Rezia with that of the Dalloways. Some of the prose is incredibly picturesque.

The River Why by David James Duncan

Really, this is a coming of age story. It's kind of a man's story written for men, but I still like it. The beginning chapters, dealing with Gus's family are hilarious, really laugh out loud funny in places. The later chapters are more metaphysical and philosophical in nature, but worthwhile.

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

I really enjoyed reading this book. The premise is this: Julie Powell (the author) cooks every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in a year. Ms. Powell had a well-read blog during this time and the book is the result of that year and those blog posts. Since I wasn't a reader of the blog I don't know how the finished book compares to the blog entries, but it was a fascinating read.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wicked is one of those books that I really want to like, but have some problems liking. I wanted there to be much more character development with the main character, Elphaba. Lots of stuff (interesting stuff) happens in this novel, but it would be much more interesting if we actually got into Elphaba's head once in a while. Where this is most apparent (and disappointing) is after the death of Elphaba's lover. She apparently

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

I enjoy the atmosphere of this book. And, on a second reading, it is even more poignant than the first time. It's a great read (although it helps if you read up on Czech history just a little first.)

The only book on this list that I hadn't previously read is Julie & Julia. And I discovered something. It seems that I completely skimmed several of these books when I read them before, especially Great Expectations. There were whole portions of the book that I had no recollection of reading. So, it's been interesting. Now that the last Harry Potter has come out, I've started reading the second to last book (the Half-Blood Prince.) I'm about halfway through. I have a hard time with these books sometimes because I feel really bad when Harry is subjected to unfairness. I have to finish now though. I've also vowed that I will not peek at the last page of the Deathly Hallows (I do that to lessen anxiety.) I don't want to ruin the last installment of the series. In fact, I may go back and re-read the earlier books before I read the last book to remind myself of all that has happened.

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