The Pine Tree by Hans Christian Andersen

The Pine Trees of Louvciennes

The Pine Trees of Louvciennes (1870) Camille Pissaro
~ source Wikiart

The next choice in my Deal Me In Challenge is The Pine Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, drawn from the queen of clubs under short stories.  It was a perfect choice to fit in with my goal to read as many fairy tales as I can this year, albeit at a moderate pace.  I was looking forward to an Andersen story, as I expected it would be a little lighter than a story from The Brothers Grimm.  I was wrong.

Continue reading

The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Mr. QuinThe Mysterious Mr. Quin: “It was New Year’s Eve.”

 

Detective: Mr. Satterthwaite (aided by Mr. Quin)

Published: 1930 (Christie’s 13th published book)

Length: 288 pages

Setting: various: London, Monte Carlo, Corsica, etc.

 

Oh, what an odd little Christie novel.  Yet I suppose I shouldn’t call it a novel.  The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a compilation of a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie, published in various magazines over the course of approximately 5 years. One expects customary mysteries from Christie, complete with complex plots but this book is definitely different.  There are murders to solve but there are also problems of human choices and consequences.  Christie once again attempts something unique.

Continue reading

Tevye The Dairyman and Motl The Cantor’s Son by Sholem Aleichem

Tevye The DairymanTevye the Dairyman: “In honor of my dear, beloved friend Reb Sholem Aleichem, may God grant you health and prosperity together with your wife and children, and may you have great fulfillment whatever you do and wherever you go.  Amen. Selah!”

Actually, I read this book for Cirtnecce’s Classic Club Spin, choosing to join her to check off a book on my own Classics Club list.  I was expecting a light, enjoyable read and Aleichem lived up to my expectations, with a lively and appealing look in at a Jewish-Russian family and their lives and struggles told through the narration of Tevye, the father.  Tevye is an honest and pious Dairyman who strives to make a living for himself, his wife, Golde and his seven beautiful daughters.  But children who are not good children (in Tevye’s eyes), can be challenging at the least, and a poor dairyman’s life is not always easy.  Tevye will tell his stories and you can’t help but listen.

Continue reading

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by G.K. Chesterton

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1897) Giovanni Boldini
~ source Wikiart

“The greatest of Shakespeare’s comedies is also, from a certain point of view, the greatest of his plays.”

Or so G.K. Chesterton says with regard to Shakespeare’s well-known comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It appears Chesterton and I differ radically.  Even with three readings and two performances, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has left me somewhat unimpressed.  I’m not sure if it’s the silliness that puts me off, but the comedic aspect of it fails in my opinion and I’ve never been able to find much meaning in it at all.  Can Chesterton change my mind and reveal to me the appeal of this play that I’ve perhaps been missing?  Let’s find out!

Continue reading

Deal Me In Challenge 2021

Deal Me In Challenge

Jay at Bibliophilica hosts the Deal Me In Challenge every year and it’s one of my favourite challenges. Even considering the fact that I’ve been abysmal with even getting halfway through this challenge the past few years, I’m still going to participate in the Deal Me In Challenge 2021.  Why, you ask?  Well, I do have a very good reason ….

Continue reading

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

The mysteries of udolphoThe Mysteries of Udolpho: “On the pleasant banks of the Garrone, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert.”

Finally, I have finished The Mysteries of Udolpho, the turtle coming in over the finish line of her own read-along.  It was actually more like a last-minute buddy read but still everyone finished before me and I think a good number of you enjoyed the read.

I must say, Radcliffe surprised me.  I had expected a novel infused with the overly dramatic, filled with unbelievable occurrences, overdrawn characters, and sentimentality galore.  While there was a little of each within the novel, it was much less than I expected.  Emily, the heroine, while she did faint on occasion, was actually quite strong and steadfast given her age and circumstances.  I’m a little puzzled as to why she’s mocked so heavily in other reviews I’ve read.

Continue reading