“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
I really found this to be a more satisfying novel than Wuthering Heights. Now of course, it has a happier ending, so that could be one reason. Beyond the happy ending though, it is a very well developed tale of how a young woman strives to determine her own destiny in both love and life by sticking to her principles. Treated poorly by her adoptive family after the death of her parents, Jane rises above adversity first through education, and then by asserting her own self worth in the world. She also rises, because despite her unlucky childhood, she is a special person, unwilling to be simply average and complacent. People’s natural innate constitution is one theme repeated in the novel. Jane’s a likeable character, although a bit odd, and also judgemental of others at times (but this allows us to see the other characters in the novel more clearly). Because the novel begins with Jane as a young girl and ends later in womanhood, we do see her mature as the tale moves along. There are sub-themes about feminism, and also about materialism. I liked this one a lot, and it will keep mature readers (due to advanced / old English lexicon usage at times) highly entertained.
“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
Tragedy. Bizarre behaviour in old England. Quite Dramatic. Shares the themes of love and family fortune with her sister’s book reviewed above that I liked better. That said, it does deserve it’s place among classic novels, and I do recommend it as a good read.
“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
Obviously you could read volumes of analysis about this classic, but here’ s my take. Even if you’re more of a best seller reader, if you haven’t taken this one in, go ahead and make yourself do it ! Tolstoy discusses many many of the important topics of life in this complete saga about a Russian family and their personal, social and business lives. Skillfully exposed are life issues about love, marital faithfulness, ethics in business, the question of the merits of war, mental instability and suicide, and the existence of god and religion. It’s very readable, although some of the melodrama involving Anna’s “position” after leaving her husband for her lover were a bit tedious. Nevertheless, I found it a very rewarding read!
“At Night We Walk In Circles” by Daniel Alarcon.
This is a fictional novel about a young man who joins a small traveling actor’s group to tour the countryside in Peru. His commitment to the tour leads to a break up with his girlfriend, and a lot of other problems as well. I really liked Alarcon’s writing style and the view into his character’s troubled personalities. The novel is very psychological in nature, and I see some similarities with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s characters and Alarcon’s. There’s much description of what life is like both in the big city, where the main character, Nelson, hales from, as well as in the countryside provinces he and his actor friends travel to in order to perform their play. Themes about post war times as well as life in the horrible prison (similar to “Locked up Abroad”) are also interesting. I have to give this one 10 / 10 stars !
“Wild Tales” by Grahm Nash. It’s Nash’s autobiography, starting with childhood, and ending in the present. An interesting look at the rise to rock stardom, the loves of his life, and the relationship between the Crosby, Stills,.Nash and Young band mates. I did enjoy reading it. 7/10 stars.
Full Bodied Wine: A Vintage Murder Full Bodied Wine is a finer detective novel than many found on Smashwords. Taking the reader into the life of a foreign diplomat in Turkey, and a murder plot at the same time via letters written home to his fiancee’ was a great idea! The author really seems to have imagined her main character’s personality quite fully, and this makes his narrative ring authentic rather than contrived. A nicely done work by Denis O’Gorman, and a recommended fun read by me!
Seize The Day by Paul Talegdi This is a really well written book about the journey of two Roman Legionnaire soldiers wrongly sentenced to become galley slaves due to corruption within the government. It follows them from the beginning of their friendship serving at a Roman outpost, and on, to their incarceration and later escape. What I really liked about the novel, is the great detail in Talegdi’s writing, and that he never gives up on expanding and explaining the happenings. There’s also a cool subtheme about animals in this novel that I really enjoyed as well. I give it a 5/5 and would highly recommend it as a read for those interested in an adventure novel.
The Execution by Sharon Cramer
Freedom Incorporated by Peter Tylee
The Mariner’s Ghost by David Mcworter
Thirteen Years in America, Melanie Steele
Allies Anaconda, Wolfe Reidel
Bombardirovka Crystal Allene Cook
Coral Sea Affair Drew Lindsay
Other favorites : The Beautiful And The Damned, Tender Is The Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham