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review 2019-03-02 13:34
Timeless classic
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

Although I despise the overall smartass macho behaviour of Hemingways male protagonist, For Whom the Bell Tolls deserves every bit of praise it got since its publication.
Yet I am still a bit torn about what to write here, because with every aspect I want to highlight as being amazing and extraordinary, comes a ‘but’.


First of all, the writing is outstanding. Hemingways prose not only draws you in plot-wise, but reaches a level of awesomeness, only few other writers ever achieved. On so many instances, I paused and wondered how someone can write like this? Some sentences seem to be so simple and short at first glance, yet they contain an overwhelming amount of meaning, wisdom and emotion. While it doesn’t get much better than that, I’d rather have had some of the dialogues cut out completely, because many of them were so repetitive without adding anything relevant to neither the story nor any of the characters involved that the thought to just skip ahead crossed my mind more than once. For example, the whole back and forth between Jordan and Pilar about her refusal to tell him what she saw while reading in the palm of his hand took up two very tedious and unsatisfactory pages at one point.


Secondly, the language. Of course, this ties in with the writing style and, as already mentioned, some parts are just wonderful and a pleasure to read. Hemingway uses a pretty realistic and forward  way of expression (I guess, he himself would prefer using the term ‘honest’ in this context), here and there he randomly mixes in some Spanish sentences or throws a puta madre into the conversation from time to time, which are small contributions to the setting, but they enhance the atmosphere a lot.
But speaking of setting and of mixing in some Spanish, I have to admit, that in my opinion this is also the cause for the novel’s greatest weakness. In order to give the reader a better feeling of a book written in the midst of a Spanish guerilla group, Hemingway resorts to the use of archaisms and some odd expressions which did not really work out so well, because they sometimes read like a google translate version of a real Spanish text. Also, it is quite cute and annoying at the same time, that in order for his characters not to curse, all the swearwords are replaced, for example simply by ‘obscenity’ (except they do it in Spanish, because this is obviously ok). This might be the result of censorship or some form of modesty in the 40’s (I really don’t know), but, could you imagine this fearnaught dynamiter Robert Jordan look you straight in the eye and tell you to ‘go muck yourself’? Well, neither can I.


So I guess the bottom line here is, that I really, really liked and enjoyed For Whom the Bell Tolls, I binge-read great portions of this novel (and I would do it again), but other parts (especially the repetitive dialogue parts) bore the obscenity out of me.

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text 2019-02-13 13:22
Reading progress update: I've read 232 out of 505 pages.
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

So far I really love some parts of it, but others feel redundant and quite boring to be earnest (sorry, Hemingway)

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text 2018-12-01 09:00
November 2018 Reading Wrap Up
Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine
Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death - Erin Gibson
Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It - Bronwyn Fryer,Jonathan D. Quick
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America - Michael Eric Dyson
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.E. Vance
Amelia: An Autumn Bride - Hildie McQueen
Love's Unfading Light: Historical Christian Romance (Eagle Harbor Book 1) - Melissa Jagears,Naomi Rawlings,Roseanna White

24 Festive Task challenge have goosed up my reading this month, plus the English winter weather has set in (darkness at 4:30pm kills any desire for going outside). 



1. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine 3.5 stars

2. Feminasty by Erin Gibson 4 stars

3. Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope #2) by Susan Ella MacNeal 4 stars

4. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway 3.5 stars

5. The End of Epidemics by Jonathan D. Quick, MD 3.5 stars

6. Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson 5 stars

7. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance 3.5 stars

8. Amelia: An Autumn Bride (Brides for All Seasons #7) by Hildie McQueen 3 stars

9. Love's Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1) by Naomi Rawlings 2.5 stars

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review 2018-11-23 20:50
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway

Do not read this book if you are hungry or thirsty! This was a wonderful, conversation between the reader and Hemingway about his life as a struggling writer living in post-war Paris. I am so glad I read this book; Hemingway was honest, at times vulnerable, inquisitive in a genuine way about other people. I loved going to the café with him everyday and just walking around Paris. 


And then THAT MAN shows up and for a huge chunk of the book, Hemingway devotes his memoir to him. THAT MAN is F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Hemingway was half in love with Fitzgerald's "genius" but even he knew Fitzgerald was a phony and mentally unhealthy. And Zelda was a raging bitch right out of the gate. This was a bit of a slog to get through as I hated F. Scott and Zelda. At least Gertude Stein had real intellectual leanings that made her interesting enough to deal with her moodiness; F. Scott was just a thirsty mofo. 

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text 2018-11-11 20:03
24 Festive Tasks - Armistice Day
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
The MacGregor Brides - Nora Roberts
The MacGregor Grooms - Nora Roberts
River's End - Nora Roberts
Public Secrets - Nora Roberts
Rebellion - Nora Roberts



Book: I had this one already planned and in my hands as I needed to get it through my base library's ILL system. I will be reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Pray for me....


Task #3

I can say that I am definitely a veteran of the works by Nora Roberts/JD Robb. She was my gateway to romance and adult books. I first read NR's The MacGregor Brides when I borrowed it from the public library at age 12. I had already exhausted my library's Sweet Valley High and Babysitters' Club books and nothing really grabbed me. So the librarian, who knew me well as I was at the library every week, decided to hand me this book and the follow up, The MacGregor Grooms. I inhaled these books, reading them a few times all the way through by the time the due date arrived. 


From there, I read (out of order) the rest of The MacGregor series (my favorite being Rebellion), then moved on to whatever was available at the library or the used book store (mostly her category romance). During my first deployment, I read River's End and Public Secrets, starting me on her romantic suspense. During my second deployment, I read the first of 47 In Death books. And here I am, 27 years later and still borrowing NR/JD Robb from the library, with a few books on my physical shelf.

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