Classic Poetry Review: The Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake
by Sir Walter Scott

5 out of 5 stars

As a result of a feud between her father and King James, Ellen Douglas must live a secluded life in hiding on a small island in a Scottish loch. There she meets the mysterious James Fitz-James, a knight who has lost his hunting party in the highlands. Ellen is distressed by the romantic intentions of two highland lords, Malcolm Graeme and Roderick Dhu. Her father, the Douglas, refuses to lead his clan into war with King James, but Roderick Dhu calls together an army for a bloody battle.

I loved this beautiful poetry! There is such a wonderful balance in the writing between flowery phrases and powerful emotions and good plain storytelling. All these things come together for a delightful reading experience.

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Book Review: Round the Fire Stories

Round the Fire Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Round the Fire Stories
by Arthur Conan Doyle

4 out of 5 stars

These short stories all feature some horrific circumstance or frightening apparition. There are terrifying nightmares, murder, ghosts, seances, dangerous exotic animals, and stolen jewels. Each story gradually leads into more and more suspicious circumstances until the hero of the tale is finally confronted with the full effect of their horrific situation.

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Classic Book Review: The Portable Kipling

The Portable Kipling by Rudyard Kipling

The Portable Kipling
by Rudyard Kipling, Irving Howe (Editor)

3 out of 5 stars

I do love Rudyard Kipling’s writing, but I found this book difficult to get through. It took me a year to read little by little through all of the short stories and poems and essays, because I didn’t enjoy most of them.

Most of the time the setting of the stories were so entirely foreign to me that I had a hard time understanding what was going on. There are so many references to historical things and cultural ideas in India that are not explained. The author assumes that the reader already knows about these things, and so it is not clear to a modern reader what is happening. Unless you know the entire history of the British occupation of India and every battle and political upset from the 1800s, you will likely be lost.

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Book Review: Aunt Jane’s Nieces Out West

Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West by Edith Van Dyne

Aunt Jane’s Nieces Out West (Aunt Jane’s Nieces, #9)
by Edith Van Dyne

4 out of 5 stars

Uncle John and his nieces discover the delights and dangers of the motion picture business when they befriend two young actresses. When a mysterious young man makes their acquaintance, the group are puzzled to explain what he is doing in California.

This penultimate book in the series is so much fun! It has mystery and stolen jewels, a daring rescue, and all the intrigues of the early days of silent films. It was really interesting to see how the girls and their Uncle John got entangled in the lives of these two actresses and the mysterious young man. I loved learning more about the motion picture business in its early days. It’s like a little snippet of history.

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Classic Review: The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau
by H.G. WellsAlan Lightman (Goodreads Author) (Introduction)
3 out of 5 stars

Mr. Prendick is cast ashore on an island, where the evil scientist, Dr. Moreau, engages in animal vivisection and terrifying experiments. Gradually Mr. Prendick begins to realize that the other humans on the island are not all they seem to be. They have animal instincts and strange behavior, and Mr. Prendick has to fight for his life and find some way to escape this island of horrors.

The plot moves rather slowly, with more attention given to analyzing the morality and implications of Dr. Moreau’s work. A lot of time is spent scrutinizing different themes and ideas, like interesting explorations of what it really means to be human, but all the philosophizing does slow down the plot. However, when there IS any action, it is exciting and dramatic…. and violent. I did find the themes extremely interesting and well thought out.

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GoodReads Guru: Episode 6

The Nerdy Narrative: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVXw-rVWALBklE2syuN4myw
Subscribe to my Spanish BookTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC29eVU6fUDivDIs5TqhT0hQ

If you want me to analyze YOUR GoodReads, leave a comment with a link to your GoodReads profile!

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Book Review: Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

The Twenty-One Balloons
by William Pène du Bois
5 out of 5 stars
Professor Sherman is sick of teaching mathematics to unruly children in San Francisco, so he decides to take a year-long balloon ride around the world and never touch land in all that time. However, within days his balloon crashes near the mysterious island of Krakatoa, and he discovers the secrets of the island where a most unusual society is flourishing and fabulous diamonds are available to anyone.

This is such a fun and entertaining story! The plot has all these hilarious details all about the reception for Professor Sherman when he returns to San Francisco, his arrangements for his balloon house and how he planned his balloon trip, and the strange society that lives on Krakatoa and how they organize their days. Most of the narrative is explaining things, so there isn’t a ton of action, but the descriptions are so wild and interesting that you never feel bored.

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1900-1950 Readathon TBR and Recs

1900-1950 Readathon Katie at Books and Things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCu0QEvzt0k&t=678s
Agatha Christie 2021 Challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I9911MDRPI&t=52s
Emily of New Moon Trilogy Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4MC0UWW_BU
C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy Readalong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kJ7Rlma0ZY&t=40s

Books Mentioned:
1984 by George Orwell: https://amzn.to/3aZwAxi
That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis: https://amzn.to/3eYpb2z
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie: https://amzn.to/3epokJj
Aunt Jane’s Nieces by L. Frank Baum: (FREE for Kindle) https://amzn.to/3nO1ZYN

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Book Review: Mistress Masham’s Repose

Mistress Masham's Repose by T.H. White

Mistress Masham’s Repose
by T.H. WhiteFritz Eichenberg (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
Delightful book!!
Rereading it for the second or third time, I have enjoyed it just as much as the first time.
Orphaned Maria lives in a crumbling old palace that her ancestors built on an extensive estate full of gardens and obelisks and temples and monuments. But there is no money to repair the palace, and she lives in poverty with her governess and one old cook.

When Maria is exploring around an island in a small lake, she encounters the tiny Lilliputian people who Gulliver brought back to England after his travels. They are in danger of being discovered by Maria’s evil guardians, the vicar and governess, and Maria must use all her ingenuity to save them from being kidnapped and sold as slaves.

I love how imaginative this book is. My favorite parts are the scenes that describe how the Lilliputians make their living on the Mistress Masham’s Repose island. They fish, and hunt, and train mice as their horses. They have their little homes in the roofs and hollow pillars of the Repose cupola, and keep their tiny farm animals in stables built into the steps of the structure.

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