Well, well, this is the first time I’ve participated in the 20 Books of Summer challenge, only because the number 20 has intimidated me. How on earth could I finish 20 books during the summer? Thankfully, Cathy at 746Books gives some leeway with her challenge, so I can breath a little easier. But ten ….??? Could I even manage ten?
Well, I have a plan. I’m going to list 20 books and if anyone has any suggestions in the comments about ones I should definitely read, I’ll take the advice to heart and focus on those. The challenge is from June 3rd to September 3rd and my goal will be 10 books. We’ll see how I do.
“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita.” (Midway in life’s journey I strayed from the path and became lost in a dark wood.)
And so begins Dante Alighieri’s 14th century magnum opus, The Divine Comedy, which includes the books Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, telling of his travels through the depths of Hell and the mountain of Purgatory to discover the bliss of the Heavenly realms.
I attempted to review Inferno after my second read of it, yet never was able to put my thoughts together. This time I was determined but without much more inspiration, however I believe I discovered why this poem is so difficult to review. In essence, it is not only a poem; it is a story, it is history; it’s a science; it is a theological treatise, it is a creation. As in the other two books, there are so many allusions and so many connections that Dante interweaves into them that, as modern readers, we become a little lost in a dark wood. It’s like looking at a puzzle and having to see all the pieces individually before you can see the whole. Without a knowledge of Italian, we can struggle; without a knowledge of medieval scientific theory, we can struggle, without a knowledge of Catholicism we can struggle. But in spite of some of these challenges in this magnificent work, we can still see some of the pictures that Dante painted for us with bold strokes of artistic creativity.
Well, what an extraordinary silly book!! I must say I’ve been somewhat taken aback by the early works of Agatha Christie. Being so used to Poirot and Miss Marple, I thought those types of mysteries comprised the majority of her works, but obviously during her earlier career she set sail on a different course and the focus on her two famous sleuths came later. Who knew?
For those of you poetically handicapped, like me, “hail bounteous May” is from John Milton’s poem Song on May Morning, which you can read here. And, yipes, it also reminds me that I really need to read more poetry, which in turn reminds me that I need to hop back on my Deal Me In Challenge which has been sadly neglected recently because of other interesting pursuits. Ah, such is life!
What are your ideas about love? Is love an overwhelming romantic feeling? Can it be a decision or a duty? Can you fall out of love? Have you wished for a better understanding of the love of God? Can friends love each other? What about families and our love for them? In English, we use the same word for all these feelings … love …. but the Greeks have different words for these feelings of love and each has its different distinctions. Do you want to learn more? Then please join me in my read-along of C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves for the month of June!
What an interesting Top Ten Tuesday topic and one that made me think. There are a few characters that I can pick out right away, but ten?!! Let’s see what I can come up with. I’m going to list them in descending order so the last character will be the one I think that I’m most like.
Setting: Marlow, London, Southampton, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bulawayo, island in the Zambezi
Written at: during a trip to South Africa, etc.
The Man in the Brown Suit was Agatha Christie’s fifth novel published by Bodley Head, her contract of six books almost satisfied. With it, she deviated from a pure detective novel, bleeding into the genre of a thriller which pleased some critics and dismayed others. Some bawled for the return of Hercule Poirot while others admired her entertaining execution. Personally, I thought the story was delightful, a page turner from beginning to end.