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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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