Review: Our Mutual Friend (1998)

Posted 5 June, 2009 by Li in Books, Entertainment / 4 Comments

Our Mutual Friend
By: Charles Dickens

I had read Dickens’s Great Expectations back in November/December and wasn’t thoroughly impressed by it; it was okay but I found myself trudging through a good part of the novel. I figured after a while that I probably wasn’t in the right headspace at this time to read Dickens and decided to come back to his works later on. However, I watched the 1998 BBC adaptation of Our Mutual Friend recently and absolutely fell in love with the story so I decided to check the book out as well. And I rather enjoyed it.

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Meme: Booking Through Thursday

Posted 4 June, 2009 by Li in Meme / 7 Comments

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Booking Through Thursday

Here we go, 15 books:

  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskall
  • A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
  • Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
  • Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Meme: Another book meme =D

Posted 3 June, 2009 by Li in Meme / 2 Comments

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
Hmm, I believe it’s my Carmen Sandiego books (Colour Me Criminal, The Cocoa Commotion, Take the Mummy and Run and Hasta La Vista Blarney!); I learned a lot from those books =D

 

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?
Last read: David Hewson’s The Garden of Evil
Current read: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian (re-read)
Next read: Toss-up between Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Anna Gavalda’s Hunting and Gathering. Or maybe Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend. Hmm, too many books on my to-read list xD

 

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
I heard wonderful things about Maguire’s Wicked but I dunno, I thought it was okay, nothing spectacular. I’m also currently re-reading Kostova’s The Historian to see if my opinion will change; I love the research and the history but I found the writing and the plot rather dry and way too drawn out…maybe a second read will change my mind?

 

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
Rodgers’s The Safeguard of the Sea and Coelho’s The Zahir


5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”
Life’s too short; got to read as much as you can now 😉

 

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
I try to wait until the end, however there’s been an occasion where I have flipped to the end to see what the last line says *blushes*

 

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
Interesting aside, though I’ve only bothered to read them in a few books…

 

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Good question; maybe Anne Elliot from Persuasion (if only to have a man like Captain Wentworth write a letter like that to me—you guys know what letter I’m talking about ;)) or maybe Eowyn from LOTR…a little bit frightful given that it was the War of the Ring at the time but I’d trade places with someone on Middle Earth to get a chance to live there…save for like, the orcs and the Haradrim, of course 🙂

 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
LOTR and Williams’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy remind me of my high school years 🙂

 

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
I got The Complete Works of William Shakespeare at a book sale at university for cheap…its cover is leather and it was published in 1923. Has to be the greatest buy I’ve ever had book-wise 😀

 

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
Not that I can think of…

 

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Again, none that I can think of…

 

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?
Ehh, haven’t re-read all of the books I’ve read in high school. One story I do have is that I read Pride and Prejudice in Grade 11 and didn’t think much of the book at the time (had to write an ISU essay on the book, that’s why—it was my favourite from the batch that year though). I decided to re-read it again when I was in first year university (especially with the movie coming out and everything) and fell in love with it completely. So it was more of a meh to yay reaction rather from hate to okay kind of thing.

 

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
Um, I don’t know?

 

15. Used or brand new?
New please *blushes*

 

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?
Don’t really have an opinion on this one, I don’t read his stuff.

 

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
Good question, movies and adaptations have their own merits from the books. I’ve seen a number of adaptations that were pretty horrid renditions of the book but I can’t really think of a movie adaptation that was better than the book…oh wait, actually, from what I heard of the book, I prefer the movie adaptation of The Painted Veil 🙂

 

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Eragon—five seconds into the movie my brother and I already started poking fun at it. That was not good; it totally destroyed whatever interest I had in the books to begin with (and I did read the first book).

 

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?
Frances Mayes’s A Year in the World; makes me wish I could travel to all those places and eat all that food she mentioned throughout 🙂

 

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
I listen to everyone on my LJ list and my friends in RL (who read a lot of books) and make a decision about particular recommendations from there 🙂

Books: Reading List Update

Posted 3 June, 2009 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

Okay, so since my summer vacation began, I’ve been tackling my TBR list. Of course, while I’m reading through it, I’m also adding more books to the list xD But anyways…here’s the current status of my TBR list (because this list covers my TBR list from January; I’ve also taken out all the books I read last month from the list so it’s a lot cleaner, lol):

  • Christopher Andrew & Vasili Mitrokhin’s The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World
  • David Anthony Durham’s Acacia
  • Greg Keyes’s The Born Queen
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Byron Ayanoglu’s Crete on the Half Shell
  • Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy of Four
  • Anna Gavalda’s Hunting and Gathering
  • Brian Ruckley’s Bloodheir
  • Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities
  • Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
  • Cathy Yardley’s Turning Japanese
  • Giles Tremlett’s Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past
  • Anthony Capella’s The Various Flavours of Coffee
  • David Rotenberg’s Shanghai
  • Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend
  • Chris Evans’s A Darkness Forged in Fire
  • Elizabeth Gaskall’s Wives and Daughters
  • Elizabeth Gaskall’s Cranford

So right now I have 19 books on my TBR list (5 nonfiction, 5 fantasy/sci-fi, 9 fiction), a sure sign that I must definitely stay away from the bookstore for a very long time *blushes* On top of that, I’m also planning on re-reading some of my books again (another incentive to stay away from the bookstore for now), probably in July though, such as my yearly re-reading of LOTR, Atonement, the other Jane Austen books I haven’t gotten around to yet, etc. 🙂 How I tackle the TBR list however will really depend on which book I feel like reading, lol (as it’s always been xD).

But no rush, really; I guess I’m just posting this because my TBR list has gotten longer than usual *blushes*

Meme: Musing Mondays, Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 1 June, 2009 by Li in Meme / 2 Comments

Okay, I’m on time this week, LOL:

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about sticking with it…

How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren’t really enjoying before you’ll set it aside? If you’re reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you’re reading for your own interest? Why, or why not?

Just One More Page

I try to stick it out, slog it through even if I don’t really enjoy the book so much or if the book is going real slow and whatnot (Jurado’s God’s Spy and Toews’s A Complicated Kindness comes to mind). I would especially stick it out if I’m read a book for a group discussion (though I’ve never really participated in a group discussion before—does discussions in English class count? xD If so, I can name a couple of books I had to slog through). I guess my general rule with books is just to stick through it no matter; I don’t really like leaving books unfinished and whatnot, no matter how much I dislike it and no matter whether it’s for personal reading or for a discussion.

I’m also doing this meme today because I dunno if I’ll be logging on tomorrow:

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

My teaser for this week: “A distant siren broke the silence of the night. From somewhere in the direction of the Mausoleum of Augustus a blue light flashed down on the alley, like some mutant Christmas decoration newly escaped from the tree.” – p. 262, The Garden of Evil by David Hewson.