Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Number 6

Yes, I realize I haven't completed my follow up post about The Metamorphosis yet (I just haven't gotten around to getting the quote I need from that episode of Gilmore Girls!), but I am about two-thirds of the way through book number 6:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Lorelai, surprised at Rory's choice to go to a Chilton party one evening, makes a crack that staying home and reading The Bell Jar would have the same effect on her. I decided to find out what she was refering to. So, jump on board and read about Esther losing her mind! =)

Happy reading!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Number 5

Alright! Now That I've finally finished reading all books from the very first episode of Gilmore Girls, I am going to break the pattern and skip around as I please. I think this will help with the speed of the blog - allowing me to pick what seems most appealing at the time. I have also broken another pattern with this post already - usually I open with a quote from the episode that introduces the book I have chosen to read, but tonight I decided to keep watching the show chronologically (I'm currently watching Season 2), and didn't feel like skipping back to Season 1 to get the quote. So for now you'll have to be satisfied with me just giving you the title straight out:

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis is actually a short story, and a very quick read. I read it once in college and found it kind of humorous, so decided it would be a good book to take with my on my recent weekend getaway (home!). It's so short I actually finished it before my flight was over, and still had time for a nap - so get reading, because I'm already ready to post my thoughts on it!

I promise I'll include the quote from the episode in my next post.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Book 4 Review - Madame Bovary

I finished Madame Bovary at least two weeks ago, I've just been lazy with the posting a blog thing.

The book was really a quick read; I was surprised how quickly the pages flew by during my 30 minute lunch break at work each day. I found parts of it interesting, and the writing was well done, but honestly, I didn't care for the main character. The main reason most likely being that Madame Bovary was never satisfied with her life! Ever! It seemed like she had a great upbringing - her father tried to give her the best by sending her off to be educated in the city where she was able to study music and art which was considered a luxury in her time. Maybe that was what sparked her unhappiness...she was able to live a life others dreamed of, and then she went back to her family's farm. Perhaps she felt that the things she had learned weren't appreciated or were just useless back in a small town. I don't know. I honestly don't understand people who can't find anything positive in their living situation.

Madame Bovary married a young widower, had a daughter (who was raised mainly by a nurse), and lived a comfortable life yet constantly dreamed of having more. More of what... I felt was never really defined. She wanted every fantasy and daydream to come true. Her devoted husband caved to her every whim, and even relocated his business as a health officer to another town when he thought her health/nerves were suffering from boredom and whatnot.

Ultimately I found the Madame to be plain selfish and I was almost relieved to see her put an end to things. I didn't feel terrible for the husband either - it was like he ignored what was right in front of his eyes, and was complacent, or rather apathetic with his life. In a way he was the exact opposite of his wife. She was never satisfied, and he was overly indifferent. Their daughter wasn't a major focus in the book, but in the end I felt the worst for where she ended up.

What was this book trying to teach or prove? No idea. But hopefully it inspires people to look for the little joys in their lives even when things aren't going exactly the way we want them to. Better yet, I hope it shows that infidelity ruins families.

And I still have no idea why the color blue was mentioned nearly every other page.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Number 4

Dean: "After school you come out and you sit under that tree there, and you read. Last week it was Madame Bovary, this week it's Moby Dick." Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Yes, this book is mentioned at the same time as Moby Dick, during the awkward getting-to-know-you scene with Rory and Dean in the pilot episode. I have no expectations for Madame Bovary, which is good I think - since having expectations for Moby Dick made me impatient while reading. I hadn't heard of Madame Bovary before (that I can remember), so I'm coming at this book with a clean slate. Truthfully, I've already started reading, and it's going MUCH quicker than the last book, so if you want to read it with me you better pick it up quickly! I'm already nearing the halfway point! A new friend of mine saw me reading before a class I'm taking and mentioned that she had studied French, and discussed part of Madame Bovary in one of her classes. She said that another student had pointed out the repetition/frequent references to the color blue throughout the book. I hadn't conciously noticed up to that point, but ever since I have seen the color blue mentioned about every other page. I may want comments from those who read it about why this is in my next review post... I haven't figured out the reasoning yet. Who's in on this one?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book 3 Review - Moby Dick

(For some stupid reason I can't get this post to separate into paragraphs when I hit publish - even though I can see the paragraphs when I'm in edit mode!! So frustrating! So for now, I'll alternate colors to show different paragraphs... grr. If anyone knows how to fix this issue, let me know!) I finished Moby Dick about a week and a half ago, but to be honest I was so tired of the book at the time I needed a break from it. Hence the delay in blogging about it. I don't anticipate this post being terribly long, either. So - here it goes... I wish I had done a little more research on the book before I started reading it so I knew what to expect. I have a friend who does that with movies; she'll sit down and the start the movie without knowing much about it, but about 15 minutes in she has her computer out and she's looking up plot summaries and character info on different movie websites. I personally don't like to know the outcome of a movie/book, etc. before I watch/read it because I think it spoils the ending, but in the case of Moby Dick I really think knowing more details of the book before hand would have helped me get through it easier, and here's why: First of all Herman Melville seems to go off on tangents a lot in the book. I guess it's important to know a little about the set up and design of a whaling ship since that's where the majority of the story takes place, but I felt like the author detailed more than what was necessary. There were also such chapters as "The Whale as a Dish," "The Right Whale's Head - Contrasted View," and "Measurement of the Whale's Skeleton" that just seemed to drag on with facts and details that in the long run didn't contribute much to the action of the book. I read some articles online after I finished Moby Dick; one of which said: "Moby-Dick contains large sections—most of them narrated by Ishmael—that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot but describe aspects of the whaling business. Melville believed that no book up to that time had portrayed the whaling industry in as fascinating or immediate a way as he had experienced it. Early Romantics also proposed that fiction was the exemplary way to describe and record history, so Melville wanted to craft something educational and definitive." So, while writing history into fiction seemed to be fashionable at the time, I think Melville should have separated the history from the fiction. Maybe you disagree, and that's okay, but the history was incredibly boring to me. Probably because I'm not interested in whaling. Second - the white whale didn't show up until page 495. Yep. Four hundred and ninety five. Out of 521 pages. I thought there would be a lot more about the title character throughout the book, but I was definitely wrong. This was mostly thanks to the tangents explained above. Okay, enough complaining. On to what I DID get out of it; my own conclusions and such. Not long after Captain Ahab actually enters the scene (the narrator talks about him a bit before he actually appears) you learn about his quest - to hunt the white whale who had taken off his leg on a previous whaling venture. It didn't matter to him that the whaling ship didn't belong to him and that its purpose was to turn a profit on the voyage; revenge was all that mattered to Ahab. He quickly rallies the majority of the crew to join him on this quest (not that they could back out - having already been on the ocean some time). By the time Moby Dick was finally sighted and the crew began its three-day chase of the whale I swear I was starting to feel like Ahab in a way. I could feel Ahab's anticipation building; he had been searching for this whale for years. It was go time! I was surprised how fast the final chapters flew under my fingertips. After all the long, drawn-out descriptive chapters beforehand these final chapters were short and to the point. I was kind of disappointed - wasn't this supposed to be an epic battle? It was over so quickly. **This next part will reveal the ending of the book, so if you plan to read it yourself, you should probably skip it. As I read about Ahab being strangled and dragged from the small boat by his own whaling line that he had plunged into Moby Dick's side, and about the fate of the whaling ship and all but one of its crew members as it was sunk by the force of the white whale plowing into it, my thoughts turned deeply inward; I couldn't help but think about my decisions in life and draw some life lessons from the book: What are the goals and causes I am aiming for? Have I chosen them wisely, or am I making my decisions based on emotion and revenge like Ahab did? Are my causes worth fighting for? Are my actions positively influencing others, or are they the types of decisions that will ultimately drag me down and take others with me? Is the end result worthy of the battle?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Been Ages.

Yes, I realize that I haven't posted in a veeery long time. I thought everyone would tire of my little update posts explaining that I was still making slow progress. But now - I FINISHED IT! I finally finished Moby Dick about a week ago, and have several thoughts to share on it. I promise that will be in the next post, as life has been crazy. Goodness - today was the first day I checked my personal email in a week or so.

So, for any of you who actually decided to read the book, or whoever may have read it in previous years, check back soon to read my thoughts, and to share yours.


Told you so! =)