Read in November 2010

1. Silver on the Tree, by Susan Cooper
The final book in the The Dark is Rising sequence. A lot more fantastical than the previous four, by which I mean, much more out-of-time action, and much more explicitly, entirely otherworldly stuff, rather than things/beings which seem of this world, only with something peculiar and extra meaningful about them. It reminded me of John White's Anthropos books; it wasn't very like the others. It sort of fit that it should be more grandiose than the others, being the last book, but I didn't love it as I did the others.

2. The Golden Key, by George MacDonald
A delicate and strange little tale. I've no notion what it meant; to be honest, I don't even remember it that well a month later.

3. Bruchko, by Bruce Olson
The story of a young American (Christian) missionary to an unreached Amazon tribe. What makes it unusual—and worthy of being on my Biculturalism class's syllabus—is that he took a firm stance against being an agent of cultural imperialism. The only Western thing that he brought to them was medicine, he went alone to live with the tribe, much like an anthropologist, and he was very intentional about introducing a highly contextualized form of Christianity. His story is really interesting, but it's not great writing. Recommended for my fellow Protestants and anyone with views about jungle missionaries.

4. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
I didn't think I'd like this, because it was required for history and it's a war novel, but it was surprisingly effecting in its portrayal of the effects of the war on the fighting generation—their loneliness and despair for the future, and their sense of being severed from their past. I only wish I'd had time to read it in the original German.

5. Selected Poems, by Christina Rossetti
Some very, very good; others rather boring. I'll post one of my favorites soon. The ones I found excellent were the ones that felt most diary-like.

6. The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales, by Arthur Quiller-Couch (I think)
My first time reading "Beauty and the Beast" and "Bluebeard" in their original entireties. Seemed like something I ought to read, just to have a few more originals under my belt as a bookworm. This is the one I found the love letter in.

7. Anne's House of Dreams, by L.M. Montgomery
My, but Anne's gotten domestic! I still like her, still enjoy the ridiculous didactism and perfectly tied-up endings, but I'm not as interested in reading about her as a wife and mother.

8. Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, by Robin Brande
I'm not terribly fond of the "allude to significant past drama only vaguely until the middle of the book, THEN reveal all" device, and I have mixed feelings about the church-as-villain. But it's an engaging read. Best part: Casey and his family.

Got an opinion on any of these?

6 comments:

Q 12/11/2010 6:22 PM  

I really liked Evolution, perhaps because what the MC eventually decided lines up so much with what I think. I also don't think I read the church-as-villain as much as closedmindedness-as-villain.

Holly 12/12/2010 11:33 AM  

Q - I think...my deal is with the church being horrible enough that it ceases to feel real and can pass as a representation of all closedmindedness and misuse of authority.

Jenica 12/12/2010 2:19 PM  

My dad read Bruchko to us when we were little...and then I think my Mom did later? (Probably Dad read it to my older siblings for school and I listened, and then later Mom read it to me for school.) Anyway, I really liked it.

Holly 12/12/2010 8:38 PM  

Jenica - Did you! What was it "for" in your curriculum?

Jenica 12/13/2010 6:36 PM  

Ooh...I'm not sure. I'm homeschooled, and although Mom is wonderful with a regulated curriculum, our elementary literature courses were always just a hodgepodge of books Mom thought we should read.

Holly 12/13/2010 11:00 PM  

Jenica - Ah, that makes sense. Gotcha.

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