Okay, so here are the books I've gotten through the last couple months and I will share...
1. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
I suppose I must admit that I am a member of a generation that wants instant gratification. Artistic writing is lost on me I suppose. Dickens wrote in a time where people valued Realism, and I must admit to hating realism in any form of entertainment. I am a self-proclaimed fairy tale lover. Good endings are a must, and even if everyone doesn't come out happy they should at least be somewhat happy...please? Anyway, Dickens was hard and I feel a little proud that I did it. This book is about a young man who is given 'great expectations' about where he will go in life. These expectations greatly affect how he lives his life. My critique--real like. I couldn't quite get into the language, making it difficult for me to enjoy. Every time Uncle Joe talked, I didn't understand it and would get lost...I think I needed a better copy of it that had explanations. Still, I don't think I would have enjoyed it then. My friends tell me that Dickens has written better, and I will tackle them when I have forgotten Great Expectations! ;)
2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
I have little to say about this book. I can sum it up in one sentence. Her life was crappy; it got crappier; got slightly better for a chapter or so; and then got incredibly worse and ended terribly. Realism. Again.
3. Austenland, Shannon Hale
If you like Jane Austen you will LOVE this book. The dedication went like this: "To Colin Firth. You're a really great guy but I'm married, so let's just be friends." I laughed my head off! This book is about a girl shamefully (why?) obsessed with the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries. It had a happy ending, thank heavens. I loved it. Shannon Hale at her best. It was witty and very entertaining. It was one of those books I was reading so fast to find out what happened I'm sure I missed a lot of things.
4. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Do books that are TERRIBLY long (750 pgs.) always have to be so disappointing when you get to the end? I felt this way at the end of The Count of Monte Cristo (1200+ pgs.). There were some interesting parts but the end totally let me down!! If you'd like to read it, it gives a very sympathetic southern view of the civil war (not surprising considering Mitchell grew up in Atlanta in the early part of the twentieth century). It is hard to like a book when the heroine starts out unlikable and just gets worse and only realizes how ridiculous she's been until the last ten pages...and then the end!! Sigh. I loved Melanie, though.
Next on my list: something ridiculously unimportant and easy. With a happy ending.