Even then, to be sure that this was what God willed, I promised Him that if the child were a boy I would leave him with you. Only if the baby were a girl would I take her, for the child I lost, and the mistress, and the love. I prayed for you, ‘Nesa. I prayed that it would be a boy, but He has decided. … This child, this girl is mine. I claim her in justice’s name. — “Sold for Endless Rue,” Madeleine E. Robins
I hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day weekend. I finished “Sold for Endless Rue,” the recasting of the tale of Rapunzel. I won’t say too much because the review will be out in a couple of weeks. I’m about to start “Big Brother,” by Lionel Shriver, who also wrote “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Which I’ve heard of, but have not read, but I hear it’s excellent.
I mentioned this is the comments, but it’s worth saying again — Khaled Hosseini has a new book out, “And the Mountains Echoed.” It’s gotten fabulous reviews, and I’m keen to read it. Has anyone read it yet, and what did you think? I enjoyed “The Kite Runner,” although the ending didn’t impress me that much. Still, I hadn’t read anything like it and I think it’s one of those books everyone should read. Is it a 21st-century classic? You tell me. “A Thousand Splendid Suns” touched me much more. Parts of it made me so angry, to think of how Mariam and Laila’s husband treated them. It’s making me angry to remember.
So what have you been reading, what do you want to read next? Are you keen to read Hosseini’s new book?
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She uprooted three of the plants and bound them together to carry with them. “Never take more than you need. Plants are like a town: if you take all the strongest, the babes and old folk die.” — “Sold for Endless Rue,” Madeleine E. Robins.
There were a lot of great comments on last week’s open book stuff thread, so I’m updating the original thread to preserve them all. Next month I’ll start a new thread and link to this one. I was thrilled to see so much discussion, I did a little jig every time I visited the blog.
I finished “Jude the Obscure,” by Thomas Hardy,” over the weekend and highly recommend it, especially for those who like “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” I’ve half a mind to re-read “Tess” to examine the comparisons and contrasts between the two novels. Interestingly, these two were the last novels Hardy wrote before he concentrated on poetry, and they are the two society found most controversial. Hardy was a man with ideas well before his time.
The book I’m reading now, “Sold For Endless Rue,” by Madeleine E. Robins, is of a different genre. It’s a retelling of the tale of Rapunzel set in 13th-century Sicily. I plan to review it later, so I won’t go into too much detail, but I like it so far. It has a cozy feel to it, the kind of book you can curl up with in bed and read to set your mind at rest. Maybe even a good summer vacation read!
What did you read this weekend, and what did you think of it?
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As soon as the horse had learnt the road and the houses at which he was to pause awhile, the boy, seated in front, would slip the reins over his arm, ingeniously fix open, by means of a strap attached to the tilt, the volume he was reading, spread the dictionary on his knees, and plunge into the simpler passages from Caesar, Virgil, or Horace, as the case might be, in his purblind stumbling way, and with an expenditure of labour that would have made a tender-hearted pedagogue shed tears. — “Jude the Obscure,” Thomas Hardy.
This thread is a free-for-all for book stuff — share what you finished reading this weekend, what you started, what caught your eye at the bookstore. I consider movie adaptations of books fair game, so feel free to talk about “The Great Gatsby.”
I’m reading “Jude the Obscure.” In that quote at the top, Jude, about 9 years old, is determined to enter university at nearby Christchurch and has started teaching himself Latin and Greek with the help of some old books and a dictionary. The quote stood out at me because that’s very determined for such a young child, and how many of us have balanced a book precariously so we can read while we do something else?
Jude’s not going to make it, by the way; you can tell by a) the title and b) the fact it’s a Thomas Hardy novel. Characters rarely make it in Thomas Hardy novels, his books are sadder than wet chickens. He is one of my favorite authors, however, and “Jude” has yet to sag in the middle, as I find many Hardys do.
Oh, and that image to the left is of a bookmark I own. I love bookmarks; I pick a new one at random with every book I start, and I’m always tickled if they are completely different.
How is your reading coming along? And if you saw “The Great Gatsby,” what did you think?