A full (and lengthy) post offering you quick (quick?! well, I try) reviews of the last 3 books I read. And a bit of bragging of how many books I completed this month! SEVEN! to make it to FIFTY so far!! AND… ok, that’s enough of that.
Review The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, 1923
So my mom finds this book rummaging through a box of who-knows-what and decides to give it back to my Aunt J since Aunt J gave it to Uncle S and Uncle S’s son “S” probably won’t want it. Inside the cover, Aunt J has penned a bit of sentiment-ness: ending with GNOTHI SEUTON (Greek? I had to go look it up…) and the date 1964. This book is OLDER than I am! cool! and it’s short! I can quickly read this! [You'll see the theme - this was one of 3 books I've read after starting and not yet finishing the Rushdie book] It also has the corners eaten – presumably the work of a mouse. No idea if this was recent or a long time ago…
Full of philosophy on love, work and oh, ya know, LIFE, it is the story of someone who is leaving an island and while waiting for the boat to take him home, the villages barrage him with a ton of questions, “Hey, what about marriage?!” and he answers. Then he leaves, after spouting some fascinating quotable beautiful tidbits for us to make gorgeous posters for our college dorm walls and, well, TO LIVE BY.
I’ll just point you to some of the online quotes here. And share the ones I was inspired to write in my journal as I read this:
“Love has no other desires but to fulfill itself.”
“And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?”
“Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.”
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breathe from its restless ties, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?”
Review Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen 2007
DELIGHTFUL! I really enjoyed this. A light romance with magic and feel-good humor. Two sisters from a quirky family are rejoined after one of the sisters has to flee a bad situation and the only place to ‘hide’ is home. The older sister has her own skewed view of the past and their shared family history which gets in the way and all the adventure of getting to know each other once again, while finding and using their ‘gifts’ AND meeting a few boys just makes for a nice fun read.
This is the kind of book that would make a great movie! I would cast Jennifer Garner, Katherine Heigl, Chloris Leachman, and have NO clue about the male parts…
It was a breeze to get through in between my picking up and digesting Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. (Should I just give up on this?! I’m questioning once again why-do-I-read? to impress others or for fun. sigh.)
Other reviews: here and here and here.
Review The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Unfortunately, I didn’t devour this in one sitting. I think it needs the constant focus. I did enjoy the tone and humor and the almost unbearable foreshadowing, if it can even be called that because it was blatant teasing ==> Miss Brodie will be betrayed… duntduntdunt duh… (I recognized this same technique in Never Let Me Go / Ishiguro) But I’m afraid I need to re-read this! and I’m just not that kind of person. So, I’ve got Netflix rushing me a copy of the movie starring the incredible Maggie Smith. I’ve heard the movie is better than the book! I love it when that happens – because it is rare, don’t you agree?
Miss Jean Brodie is an unorthodox teacher of girls who she mentors from the age of 10 on through their entire schooling even though she no longer is officially their teacher after they move up to the upper grades. They are a ‘set’. And Miss Jean Brodie is in her ‘prime’. Each of the six girls have their own personalities and it is even said that they would be unlikely friends if not in this ‘set’ but the back and forth time glimpses and not knowing WHAT will happen even though we are told SOMETHING will happen, was quite riveting. Well, it would have been if I had one day and nothing else to do. I had to pick it up and put back down too many times… I lost the thread and even who was who. [SPOILER: In fact, the betrayal was a little bit of a letdown. Maybe by the time we get to it, we've had it broadcast to us too many times? and all the smoldering sex references... and it was fascism that got her. Huh.]
The writing was excellent and I am impressed with Muriel Sparks wit and talents as a story-teller. She captured adolescence beautifully – the questioning and distrust of adults; the naiveté.
I read this for the 1% Challenge and for the Lit Flicks Challenge. I’m quite a ways behind on the 1% one and have had little success bookmooching my chosen titles. The movie challenge will be a piece of cake.
“It was then that Miss Brodie looked beautiful and fragile, just as dark heavy Edinburgh itself could suddenly be changed into a floating city when the light was a special pearly white and fell upon one of the gracefully fashioned streets. In the same way Miss Broder’s masterful features became clear and sweet to Sandy when viewed in the curious light of the woman’s folly, and she never felt more affection for her in her later years than when she thought upon Miss Brodie silly.”