Books? What about ’em?

What makes a book good? Why do you say to others “that was a great book! You should read it?”. Were the characters alive to you? Did the author’s descriptions make it seem real? Is it because you “agree” with what the author is trying to say? Or because you learned something you wanted to learn?
There are some books I pick up and I can’t make it through the first two or three chapters because I can’t stand the writing style. I find myself gravitating towards books whose words are multisyllabic (not just one or two syllables), lately. I absolutely loved reading the books by Ann Rand. (The Fountainhead is good but Atlas Shrugged is better.)So much so that I used her last name as my password for the computer for several months. (My kids took that long to crack it). I like a little bit of Ann Coulter, but her sarcasm is a bit repetitive from one book to the next. Though one thing I like a lot about her is that she uses some of the most wonderful insults. I had to keep a running list of words to learn while reading her. That was fun!  One of my all time favorites is Don Quixote. Don Quixote and I were lovers for almost a year before I finished with him. I cried at the end, I hated to see him go. Oh how loving and meaningful that story was! If you haven’t read it try to see the world as he sees it. He’s a knight in shining armor trying to save the world.  I have never been able to finish Moby Dick.  I just think it’s not going to happen.  Melville and I just don’t get along.  Please just keep to the story, I don’t need the lesson every other chapter.  No one has yet convinced me to try again.

Currently I’m reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, and the Song of Hiawatha by Longfellow.  I LOVE Hiawatha.  The words, the rhythm, the entire poem is wonderful.  I’m hoping to find a good audio of it when I’m done so I can enjoy it again.  David Copperfield and I are still trying to figure things out.  I haven’t quite decided if I like it or not.  I’m nearly through and I still feel that way.  It’s a diary of David’s life and it’s very mundane in the beginning.  As I approach the end there seems to actually be a plot to the story.  So, for now, I’ll finish the book but I don’t think I’ll pick it up again.

I’ve read the Constitution of the United States and its amendments.  I’ve read the Federalist Papers too.  Reading these I think should be a must for everyone.  The Federalist Papers really pull things together and tell you why the founders wrote the constitution the way they did.  They were pretty smart guys it seems and they actually knew what they were talking about.  For instance, the big conflict on slavery and how the blacks should be counted for census.  So many people like to argue that was because the founders believed they “were worth less than white people”  Quite the contrary.  It was a compromise because if the South was allowed to count all the blacks (who still weren’t allowed to vote) then slavery was destined to remain in the United States.  Not counting them at all would mean the South wouldn’t join the States.  We, the country, needed unity not division.  The founders knew this and thus today we have no slavery.  (no sanctioned slavery anyway.)

What do you think?  What’s your favorite book and why?  There are so many other wonderful books I have read, I just can’t write it all down.  Thanks for reading! Ciao.

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4 thoughts on “Books? What about ’em?

  1. Books I read this year are Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Stoker’s Dracula. Huck was the more difficult read, because it is written in Huck’s own dialect, which largely does not exist anymore. Dracula has an uncommon style, but the writing is easy reading for a modern reader. It is a Victorian England era version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    All time favorite is Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, which is a murder mystery set in the thirteen-twenties in an Italian Monastery. The book is rich in Catholic politics of the era just prior to the Great Schism and the Black Death. It is also has many characters using real Latin, but there is enough context that you don’t need to speak Latin in enjoy it.

    • John, I’ve read Dracula. It’s a great book. If you like Dracula you might want to read The Historian by Elisabeth Kostovo. Another book I absolutely love is Joan of Ark by Mark Twain. It’s not typical Twain, but more of a history of Joan if Arc’s life from the view of a close friend. Great historical fiction.

  2. There is a book called The Five Love Languages, that is very good and has helped me to understand people and how they feel loved.

    I would recommend it.

    Good post. Thank you,
    Annie ❤

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