Sunday, July 17, 2011

#95 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The richly-formed cast of characters in this book gives the reader new insight into the personalities of people in their own life, despite many changes in manners and mores. Elizabeth, thoughtful and opinionated, never speaks without thinking, but also never hesitates to tell people the truth. Mr. Darcy, handsome and brooding, disdains common courtesy, until Elizabeth knocks him from his high horse. Mrs. Bennett, Elizabeth’s mother, is the opposite of her reflective daughter, unashamed that her only concern is marrying off her five daughters to any bachelor who comes along. Beautiful Jane, boy-crazy Lydia, sycophantic Collins, spoiled Lady Catherine, and affable Bingley all help to make this book an enlightening read.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#94 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

Adventures…nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things that make you late for dinner. So says Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who lives a comfortable life in his deluxe hole in the ground. But adventure comes knocking when Gandalf the wizard thrusts a perilous quest onto the reluctant homebody. Bilbo journeys to the Lonely Mountain with thirteen dwarves, to retrieve their dragon-stolen treasure. He soon finds himself dodging trolls and captured by goblins, rescued by eagles and battling spiders as big as Volkswagen Bugs. Will he ever see his cozy hobbit hole again? Either way, this adventure has made Bilbo a better hobbit than he ever could have been, warming his well-combed toes by the fire.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

#93 Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor

Luxury cars, swimming pools and caviar. The people of Linden Hills have “made it”, but at what price? Willie Mason finds out. Willie, a thoughtful, observant young man, lives in Putney Wayne, a poor neighborhood nearby. For him, Linden Hills is a dream with its palatial homes all owned by black people. But soon the dream becomes his nightmare. The residents of Linden Hills care only about “making it,” and the further down the hill they move, towards the most desirable sections, the further they sink into corruption and depravity. Luther Nedeed, the perpetual landlord of Linden Hills, relishes each devastating fall, and holds the key to the neighborhood’s terrible secrets.