Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Mayly Book Report

Get it? The Mayly book report? Instead of the daily book report? Get it?

Oh never mind, I'm a goose.

Well! The first half of May was filled with the last days of school, and the second half with theater camp and a weekend of rehearsals. (Our Town was so much fun! and the play itself is so interesting it gave me several ideas for blog posts, although whether or not I'll ever get around to writing those remains to be seen.)

I did manage to finish several books in May, though. Here they are.

The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Reread this for literature class, and oh! I've decided The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book. It has to be. It's quite simply the best. Finished in May; favorite character, Sam. Always and forever Sam.

This was the last book we studied in my high school literature class. *sobs softly* I loved that class so much. It was really interesting taking a look at such a well-beloved book in a studious setting.

I've decided that The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book. It's just so--so epic, in the best sense of the word. It's so big and deep and well-rounded and rich that you can bury yourself in it for weeks.

My favorite character, of course, is Sam. That didn't change with this reading, and I don't expect it ever will. :)

A Triumph For Flavius, by Caroline Dale Snedeker

A delightful book--this author understands that children's stories can and should be just as full of heart and drama as stories for grown-ups. Finished in May; favorite character...Ariphron.

Okay, so, the target age group for this book is apparently 3rd-5th graders, but don't let that fool you. The author of this book understands that children need serious stories with high stakes and suffering and sacrifice just as much as adults do.

It's the story of a Roman boy whose father, a general, presents him with a Greek slave as a present. As time goes on, the boy gradually befriends the Greek...and then comes the test of their friendship.

There were a couple sentence-long instances when the writing sounded like something out of a textbook rather than a story book, but all in all it was splendid. It can be read in one setting, but it packs an emotional wallop nonetheless.

The Secret of the Rosary, by St. Louis de Montfort

A truly excellent little book! I love St. Louis de Montfort's style--so simple and yet profound. Great spiritual reading. Finished in May.

If you're a Catholic looking for a good spiritual read, then this is for you! St. Louis de Montfort has a wonderful style--simple enough to keep a child engaged but absolutely profound. This book is basically a primer on the rosary--how and why to pray it, with dozens of lovely anecdotes thrown in. It isn't very long, and even reading a little bit of it at a time is well worthwhile. I definitely recommend it.

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

I finally finished it! After about...four years.... Finished in May; favorite character...uh....Maybe Harry Maylie? Or Rose? Or Nancy? Or the Artful Dodger?

Congratulate me, friends. I finished it. After about four years reading it out loud to my siblings in uneven spurts, we finally finished it. Phew.

.....I wish I could say something intelligent about how good it was, but honestly it'd been so long since we'd read most of it that the last few chapters didn't really affect me in any way. Except for a sense of profound relief that now I can finally say "I've read Oliver Twist."

...I obviously need to reread this one someday, huh?

Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie

Oh I loved it! But I think I'm a little scarred! This'll be a fun one to read over and over again, I think, but I may decide to skip the last chapter or two. Finished in May; favorite character...Peter Pan, I suppose? I liked all of them, though!

Now this one I thoroughly enjoyed! I've been meaning to read it for forever, because of course I'd seen the Disney movie and thought I was familiar with the story, but knew in my heart of hearts I wasn't because everyone told me "The book is really different." And now I can finally speak of Peter Pan with confidence!

In some ways it was exactly what I was expecting, and in some ways it was a surprise. The general storyline is very similar to the movie, and ever and anon I was stumbling upon lines that sounded oh so familiar. But it was much....darker than the movie. There's something a little off about Peter, a little bloodthirsty and wild and unnerving. But that's as it should be. I suspect that the theme of Peter Pan is actually that it's not a bad thing to grow up eventually, and the touch of weirdness about Peter enhances that theme.

The back of my copy of Oliver Twist says something about Dickens "giving us daydream and nightmare at once," but I actually think that phrase could be much more aptly applied to Peter Pan than to Oliver Twist. It was a delightful hodge-podge of the comic and the tragic, the nonsensical and the serious, the delightful and the startling. I just know I'm going to want to read this one again and again!

And my siblings need to read it, of course. So there's a good chance I'll be rereading it as soon as this summer!

What books have you read recently? Have you read any of these? If so, what do you think of them? Squeal to me about themes and settings and favorite characters!

4 comments:

  1. Ooh, nice books! :) I never liked Peter Pan, but LotR is always good. And Oliver Twist was good, even if sad and agonizing (AGHHHHHH - POOR NANCY!!! *sobs*). And the fact that that Rosary book is by Louis De Montfort makes me want to read it very much. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, you can't go wrong with LotR. :) YES, POOR NANCY! :'( She was probably one of my favorite characters... And yes, yes, The Secret of the Rosary is excellent and I think you would like it and you must check it out as soon as you have a chance. ;)

      Delete
  2. Have you heard the audio drama of Oliver Twist? Focus on the Family Radio Theatre does a wonderful job. I've never read the actual book though. *shame*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, that sounds interesting! I can imagine a good radio drama would really bring a book to life. Now, the musical "Oliver!"--that's what motivated us to finish the book, I think. :)

      Delete