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url 2018-04-26 19:51
The Great American Read: America’s 100 most-loved books
Anne of Green Gables Novels #1 - L M Montgomery
I, Alex Cross - James Patterson
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White,Garth Williams,Rosemary Wells
Moby Dick - Herman Melville,Frank Muller
The Martian - Andy Weir
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

Voting starts May 22 and ends October 2018.  See link for more of the 100 nominees.

 

I'm about this but do wish they had done it by categories or even time periods (I.e., published before 1900, before 1950, before 2000, type of splits).  I agree that those are 100 of the most read, most popular and even most influential books.

 

I just mean it's weird seeing beloved childhood books like Charlotte's Web and Anne of Green Gables up against Carch 22, Then There Were None, and long running contemporary series like Alex Cross and Wheel of Time?

 

Then the hordes of fans for Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter  ...

 

(I am not at all disrespecting Harry Potter; frankly I think those books are responsible for an entire generation of readers.  It's just weird to see it up against the other nominees.)

 

How would you vote -- a childhood favorite that made you a reader or your favorite recent read?

Source: www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books/#
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review 2018-04-23 21:11
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić
The Bridge on the Drina - Ivo Andrić,Lovett F. Edwards,William Hardy McNeill

This is a sort of fictionalized history, which the author referred to as a “chronicle” rather than a novel. It spans about 350 years in the history of Višegrad, Bosnia, telling the story of the town and its Ottoman-era bridge from the 16th century to World War I. The book dips into the lives of individual characters, usually for vignettes of a chapter or less, but focuses more on the general feeling or changes in the town and the reaction of townspeople in general to key events than on particular characters. There are some astute character sketches; Andrić seems to have a good understanding of human nature. But overall it is a sweeping history told much more in narrative summary than specific scenes, and the town and bridge themselves, rather than particular families or plot threads, provide continuity between chapters.

It is a well-written (or well-translated) book, though a dense and slow read that felt much longer than its 300 pages. There’s a melancholy atmosphere throughout, with time passing and empires marching on indifferent to the fates of individuals. Readers should know that in the first 60 pages there is a horrifically graphic impalement scene that I did not need in my head and that a few years from now may be all I remember about the book. I persevered only after learning that there are no other graphic torture scenes, though death is a frequent occurrence throughout.

It’s also worth pointing out that, although to English-speakers this may seem like timeless storytelling, Andrić – a Bosnian Serb who ultimately made his home in Belgrade – is a controversial figure in Bosnia, and some see the book as advancing an anti-Bosniak political agenda. To me, as an outside reader, he seems to treat the Muslim and Serb populations of Višegrad both with humanity and fairly evenhandedly, with the important caveat that the Muslim population is referred to as “Turks” and “Turkish” throughout. Based on a bit of online research, this is inaccurate: the Bosnians were Slavs who had their own Bosnian Kingdom prior to their conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1463, after which most of the population converted to Islam. But a reader ignorant of the region’s history might take Andrić’s terminology to indicate that Bosnia’s Muslims were Turkish colonists or transplants and that the Serbs were the original population. It occurs to me now that the impalement might be another subtly political decision: no such detailed brutality is described from any rulers other than the Ottomans, and Andrić imbues this scene with the maximum body horror, at a time when graphic violence in media was likely much less common than it is now (the book was published in 1945). Surely he knew how much this would stick out in readers’ minds.

Overall, the book did teach me something of the history of the Balkans, and presents a plausible chronicle of how history was experienced by everyday people over the course of hundreds of years. While I struggled a bit to get through it, I wouldn’t discourage readers who enjoy this sort of thing.

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review 2018-04-23 14:39
A Piece of the World
A Piece of the World: A Novel - Christina Baker Kline
I waited till I finished reading this novel to view the portrait, Christina’s World, which surrounded this novel. I had my own version of what this painting entailed as I read the novel but as I viewed the actual image, the landscape felt more void and lonely than I had anticipated. Christina’s image was ideal as she laid out on the harsh grass and the homestead’s deteriorating condition completed the print.
 
I felt for Christina throughout the novel as she stumbled to keep up. She kept her struggles inside as her determined and steadfast attitude pushed her through each day. Christina felt unattractive and when you added on her leg condition that brought on her clumsiness and her constant stumbling, Christina had a negative view of herself. She was smart, her teacher had told her so, but living on the homestead she didn’t feel it. Her legs cause her constant pain yet when her parents try to get her medical help, she refused it. It’s rough out on the homestead without any modern conveniences yet Christina doesn’t complain, she does what is expected of her. When all her friends start dating, getting married and having children, Christina imagines such a time but somehow, she knows her life is on her family’s estate. I was sad to see Christina, day-in and day-out laboring away for her family and only taking time for herself if there was any, at the end of the day.
 
Andy Wyeth comes to Christina’s homestead as he wants to use the surrounding area in his paintings. Andy becomes a constant figure in the household, using the upstairs bedroom for his studio. I enjoyed the relationship that Andy and Christina develop through the years. They discover how the two of them are alike and their conversations become personal and relaxed. Andy gets married and Christina finds a man who fills her heart. She wonders how Walton will fit into her world as their worlds are so different. Is this her opportunity to leave the estate and start her own life?
 
I found myself absorbed into Christina's life. I wanted so much for her. When her teacher extended an opportunity to her, I was hoping that this would be where she would succeed and she would be off. I would only hope. I loved Christina’s relationships in this novel. They weren’t tight but she had a nice variety where I learned a bit more about her from different individuals. I really enjoyed the author’s writing, there was this, “this is how it is” feeling about it and I brought my own emotions to the table as I read. I really enjoyed how the painting was used in this novel and I am glad I didn’t look at it until I finished reading the novel. I think my parents had a copy of this painting when I was growing up, hanging in the hallway. You can read the interpretation of this painting, invent your own, or read this novel and apply it to this painting, it’s up to you. Super novel to read.
 
I won a copy of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you, William Morrow, - Harper Collins Publishers for this novel!

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-04-23 07:10
World Book Day 2018

 

 

Happy World Book Day 2018

 

 

To read more about this, see World Book Day!!

 

or

 

 

 

Please share a piece of your favorite book for 10 minutes with a friend, or someone you love.  Share the joy of books and reading.  Literacy is life.  Nothing you can't do if you know how to read. 

 

Celebrate!!  

 

Today, is World Book and Copyright Day 2018!!  Enjoy!

 

https://giraffesocialmedia.co.uk/world-book-day-2018-our-top-picks/

 

http://savingtowardabetterlife.com/2018/04/world-book-day-deals/

 

 

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-22 22:38
Reading progress update: I've read 318 out of 518 pages.
Sophie's World - Paulette Møller,Jostein Gaarder

 

I'm over 50% done with this book and I'm surprised with the twist. Sophie and the others are characters in a story read by Hilde. It reminds of the twist with The Lego Movie.

(spoiler show)
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