Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Strange Case

I don't know about the rest of you, but I enjoyed our little break from the norm this month; and getting into the Halloween spirit.

Since this is such a classic story, I, as I'm sure you did, knew that Jekyll and Hyde were the same person, but it was interesting to read how it came about and how it was discovered by others. And I loved reading it the way it was written. There is something about the formal, classic, way that Stephenson writes that trumps all the versions of the story that I have heard and seen.

I also read Frankenstein with my kids this month (well the Children's Illustrated Classic version, anyway,) and in reading two "classic horror stories" I came to the conclusion that I didn't find them "horrific" as much as sad.

In the case of Jekyll and Hyde, I found it sad that selfishness can get people into so much trouble. Sad that the story had to end the way it did. Sad that man can be so prideful, that they have no one to turn to when they desperately need help. Sad that the one and only person Jekyll did confide in, didn't help, but instead chose to be appalled and reject him. Sad that people can fall so far through temptations.

When I first read Jekyll's letter to the Utterson, I couldn't believe the way that he described why he chose to continue to become Hyde. Such selfishness upset me. But after thinking about it for a little while, I realized how tempting that could be. I think, to a point, we do have two people inside of us. Who of us hasn't, at one time or another, felt a little rebellious, or angry, towards someone else? Most of us don't act on those urges because of the consequences that follow. But if you did have a disquise that would be impossible to track down, I think a lot of people would take advantage of the opportunity to release some anger, resentment, or revenge. How dangerous life would be if that was the case.

I liked the nature of the book, and the lessons I could take away from it. But in the end, I was especially glad it was fiction.

So what did you think?

(Poll for December's book is in the side bar. I decided to go with less "classic" and more "present" since this will be one of the last polls for the 1600-present time frame.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Man's Meaning

Well the poll is closed and the winner for November's book selection is... Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Franko.

I must say I'm a little excited. I didn't vote for this one, but it's the only one of the options that I haven't read yet, so it will be interesting to compare it to the others.

Happy Reading everyone! Next discussion starts on Nov. 5th (on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Eyes You Buy With

I loved this question that was recently posted on Booking Through Thursday. (My apologies to Amy, who I'm sure has already answered this.)

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

My eyes are definitely bigger than my book belly. I currently own at least 20 books that I haven't read yet. But when I find a good deal on a book that I know I want, I can't leave it on the shelf. (Or, often in my case, bid-less on ebay)
Plus, I'm lucky enough that my family knows how much I love to read, so they buy me books as gifts. I LOVE when they do, but they are rarely books that were already on my list, but most of them get added to my list of "I want to read"s too. But at least I know I shouldn't run out of good things to read. Especially not for a LONG time.

So how about you? What are your book buying habits?

Friday, October 16, 2009

What a Treasure

So, I am the worst club manager ever. Family has been sick and computers have crashed and I am really late getting a discussion started on Treasure Island.

I did however, really enjoy reading the book. It was an easy to read while taking care of a million other things, kind of story. I found it fast paced and attention grabbing, even though I sometimes struggle with Stephenson's language.

It definitely makes you think twice about "treasure hunting". I think it's a great statement about how money doesn't bring happiness. I think that by the end of the story everyone one the voyage would agree that it wasn't worth what they went through to get it. A lesson that I think too many people don't believe.

While reading the story I also did some reading on Stephenson's background and upbringing. Because of that, I found his attitudes regarding religion interesting in the book. What I read said that he was an unbeliever (something that tore up his family) yet I felt he did a very good job at portraying the feelings and actions of those that did believe in the book, as well as the feelings of those that did not, like Silver.

I also couldn't help but think about Jim's part in the whole story. He isn't much older than my son and I couldn't imagine my son dealing with betrayal, work, and danger, of those magnitudes. I realize that we don't give our children as much responsibility, as early, as people did back then- but I still can't imagine sending my young teenager off on a ship of men, of which I only knew one, to search for a treasure that belonged to a deplorable man. It actually made me sad that he had to lose his innocence as early, and in the way that he did. Especially when he was forced to take a life to save his own.

So how did you enjoy the story?

(I also hope you are enjoying Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And don't forget to vote for Nov. book in the side bar.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good Ole Robert Louis

I really hope that you are all enjoying Treasure Island, or at least the way the Robert Louis Stephensen writes, because he won the choice for Oct.'s book too. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde won the vote for next months book. Hopefully it will help get you all in the Halloween mood. "OOOooohhhhhhh."